Birmingham City FC goalkeeper Nico Vaesen has been ruled out for up to eight months after damaging knee ligaments during his side's 2-0 Premiership victory against local rivals Aston Villa FC on Monday night.
The 33-year-old Belgian underwent an exploratory operation yesterday to assess the extent of the damage he suffered when catching his leg on the turf after making a clearance upfield. Vaesen's worst fears were confirmed today and he now faces an operation to repair the damage in April.
'Reduce the swelling'
"Nico has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament," said a Birmingham spokesman. "
It is going to be six to eight months before he is back in contention. He'll start rehabilitation next week to reduce the swelling and he'll have the operation in four weeks' time."
Ian Bennett, who has been with Birmingham since the 1993/94 season, will deputise during Vaesen's absence. The 31-year-old has made just two appearances so far this season.