Blackburn Rovers will be without Ryan Nelsen in their battle to avoid relegation after the centre-back underwent knee surgery.
The New Zealand captain has been carrying an injury and playing through the pain for much of 2011.
The 33-year-old Nelsen will sit out Blackburn’s final six matches of the season and is unlikely to be available until early in the next campaign.
“Ryan had an operation on his knee and he is out for the rest of the season, unfortunately,” Blackburn manager Steve Kean said.
“If the surgeon had gone in and looked at his knee in January he’d have probably done the same operation.”
“So with good medical back-up we’ve managed to get him on the pitch more times than we thought we would have got.”
“The prognosis is that he’ll be back some time in August, he just has to rest up for a month and do the rehab from there.”
Blackburn are 16th in the table, three points clear of the relegation zone, and travel to Everton’s Goodison Park on Saturday.
“Fortunately for us we lose Ryan at a time when Phil Jones is back fully fit,” Kean said.
“He’s slotted back in there and looked like he’d never been away from central defence so that is fantastic for us, but it is unfortunate that we lose Nelly.”
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