Blackburn Rovers FC's David Thompson may miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.
The operation was scheduled to coincide with Thompson's two-match suspension, but revealed that the injury was more serious than first thought. Blackburn manager Graeme Souness said that the 25-year-old could be sidelined for the rest of the campaign, adding that a long period of recuperation might be in Thompson's best interests.
'I'd like to rest him'
"If things go to plan and we pick up some more points in the next few weeks then, ideally, I'd like to rest him," Souness said. "We could rush him back but I'm being told that could take months - maybe years - off his career and I wouldn't want to do that to anyone."
Thompson was transferred to Blackburn in August 2002 for €2.2m from First Division side Coventry City FC, whom he had joined from Liverpool FC. He was subsequently called up to the England squad for the UEFA EURO 2004™ match against F.Y.R. Macedonia.
Thompson's absence is a blow to Blackburn, who may also have to do without midfield player David Dunn for Saturday's home league game with Arsenal FC. Dunn has suffered the recurrence of a hamstring injury. However, winger Damien Duff is set to return to fitness after six weeks out, also with a hamstring problem.