Yeates out for season after shoulder op
COLCHESTER United's star player, Mark Yeates, is set to miss the rest of this season after undergoing an operation on his damaged shoulder last night.Flying winger Yeates spoke to the EADT just a couple of hours before he went under the knife, to have surgery on the shoulder that he dislocated during the U's 2-2 home draw against Sheffield United at the start of this month.
COLCHESTER United's star player, Mark Yeates, is set to miss the rest of this season after undergoing an operation on his damaged shoulder last night.
Flying winger Yeates spoke to the EADT just a couple of hours before he went under the knife, to have surgery on the shoulder that he dislocated during the U's 2-2 home draw against Sheffield United at the start of this month.
"I'm really gutted. I have to have this operation, which is really unfortunate," rued Yeates.
"When I injured the shoulder, I was hoping to only be out for a couple of weeks. That's what I was saying to everyone.
"But the shoulder has not been feeling right. It's just one of those things. I don't want to let any one down, so I have to get it fixed by having this operation.
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"The plan is to come back strongly for next season, God willing," added Yeates.
Ex-Tottenham winger Yeates was a revelation for the U''s during the first half of the season, and he was the hot favourite to be voted the club's "player-of-the-year."
The 23-year-old scored eight goals before Christmas, many of them from terrific long-range free-kicks. In fact, the Dubliner believed that he should have been on nine goals, after his effort at Southampton was credited as a Rudi Skacel own goal.
His absence over the last 14 games of the season is therefore a big blow for the U's, who are striving to avoid relegation into League One. They are currently third-from-bottom, though with back-to-back home games to come against Bristol City and Wolves over the next two Saturdays.
Manager Geraint Williams admitted that his team will miss the energetic performances of Yeates, during the final 10 weeks of the campaign.
"It's a big blow. He's come back as quickly as he can, but this is a major operation. It's not a small one," explained Williams.
"Mark had been having a great season for us, and his set pieces have become legendary. Not only that, but he was also full of energy and was a crucial part of the team.
"However, Karl (Duguid) has come in and done well down the right wing over the last couple of games, and Kevin McLeod is back down the left.
"There is always the possibility of bringing in an emergency loan player, but I have players here who are desperate to play, and want an opportunity," added Williams.
The U's have other injury problems ahead of tomorrow's home game against Bristol City. Defenders Pat Baldwin and Bela Balogh remain sidelined, as does striker Jamie Guy, while leading scorer Kevin Lisbie (twisted ankle) and centre-half Adam Virgo (knee injury) only resumed training yesterday.