Leeds United AFC's dismal season has taken a further blow with the news that midfield player Seth Johnson has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign.
Knee surgery needed
Johnson has been troubled for much of the season with a knee injury and was told on Friday he requires immediate surgery to clear up the problem. "He's been playing with it for quite a few games," manager Terry Venables told reporters on Friday.
Hampered by injuries
"We were going to try and get to the end of the season and do it in the summer but they're saying that's not a very good idea and we have to get it done straight away," he added. Johnson has started just 18 games for Leeds since signing from Derby County FC for €10m in October, 2001.
Missed much of season
The 24-year-old, capped once by England, was ruled out for four months earlier this season and since his return has started six league and cup fixtures. "I felt he's done pretty well but it's caught up with him and the decision has had to be made," said Venables. "After a game it was bothering him then it settled down by the end of the week. But now it's inflamed and it's got worse.
"If we get it done now, the quicker it will be over and he can get himself ready for next season," said the former England manager. "At least now, touch wood, he will be fully clear for pre-season." Johnson will miss Saturday's visit of eleventh-placed Middlesbrough FC, the club he would have joined in the January transfer window had his knee stood up to a medical.