Southend United are set to be without defender Harry Lennon for an extended period, manager Mark Molesley has confirmed.
Lennon has been playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks with a leg injury, but will now require surgery on a knee injury as well, which is going to rule him our for “months, not weeks”, Molesley confirmed.
“It’s a big shame,” said Molesley. “Unfortunately, Harry has been struggling with his knee for a bit and it ballooned up after the [Walsall] game on Saturday.
“After a scan on it and a specialist’s opinion he’s going to have to go under the knife.
“He’s going to be added to that long list of injured and long-term ones.
“It’s painful for us to say the least.”
As well as a knee operation, Lennon will also have a procedure on his leg which he has been playing through in recent weeks.
The Blues boss added: “The bonus of it is we can get them both simultaneously done at the same time, so we can kill two birds with one stone so to speak.
“But the length of the knee injury is longer than what would’ve been the compartment syndrome.
“It’s desperately frustrating because Lenny stood up and was counted in a tough period and he put in some great performances. I felt he was growing in stature, despite his injury. Especially off the back of our first clean sheet and win, unfortunately we need to change that again.
On the timescale of the defender's return, Molesley said: “We’re hoping to see him before the end of the season but it’s longer term. It’s months rather than weeks.
“Like I said, it’s disappointing but it’s out of our control and we’re going to have to move on. Opportunity knocks for someone else.”