Shock injury blow for Blues star

VELICE Sumulikoski will miss Ipswich Town's play-off push after being ruled out for the rest of the season.Sumulikoski has partially torn an artery in a leg that needs surgery, which will keep the Macedonian out of action for up to three months.

Derek Davis

VELICE Sumulikoski will miss Ipswich Town's play-off push after being ruled out for the rest of the season.

Sumulikoski has partially torn an artery in a leg that needs surgery, which will keep the Macedonian out of action for up to three months.

The loss of the international midfielder will be a hammer blow for the Blues promotion dream but manager Jim Magilton was last night determined his side will not be blown off track.

Magilton said: “This is a huge blow and comes at a critical time. We have to deal with it and it gives someone else an opportunity to come in a do a job.

“We hope the operation goes well for Shumi and look forward to having him back.”

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It would appear Sumulikoski has been carrying the injury for a while but was determined to play through it without realising how serious it could be.

The midfielder, who will be 27 next Thursday, complained of a problem and a specialist made the diagnosed yesterday after a series of tests.

Blues physio Matt Byard said: “Shumi has had a tingling sensation in his foot and around his toes and we have been investigating the cause.

"It has been discovered that he has suffered a partially torn artery in his shin and we are now in discussions with the surgeon.

"It probably happened a few weeks ago and was then aggravated and if Shumi takes another knock on the shin then there could be severe consequences so we have to shut him down now.

"The surgeon will indicate what the next step is but at the moment we are moving towards an operation, probably next week, which is likely to mean he will be out of action for around three months."

Sumulikoski signed for the Blues after a short trial period in January and has played 14 times since making the £600,000 move from Turkish side Bursaspor.

Town have already lost midfielder David Norris with a heel problem, defender Richard Naylor with a neck injury and Shefki Kuqi remains a doubt for the trip to Wolves with hamstring strain.

Better news is that Alex Bruce should be fit after a back injury, while Jon Walters has shown no ill-effects after making his comeback last weekend from a knee operation.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk