Birmingham City playmaker Tahith Chong returned to Manchester United last week to receive treatment after suffering an injury to his groin.
The 21-year-old is expected to be sidelined for four to five months as he is set to undergo surgery to repair a ruptured thigh tendon.
The young attacker has been a real spark in Birmingham’s side this season, proving to be a consistent creator of chances and has been a player who has got fans out of their seats when in possession.
Despite his setback, Lee Bowyer will not turn his back on the exciting attacker, and speaking to Birmingham Live he said: “Chong is out so we have to replace him. We’ve been low on numbers since the start of the season. Chong can’t just go and Riley can’t just go and we don’t replace him.
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“That’s a conversation between the two clubs because Chong is supposed to be here until the end of the season.
“The two clubs need to make a decision and an agreement regarding that conversation.
“Hopefully they can come to an agreement that suits us and then we can maybe use that money somewhere else. That would be helpful.
“I’m not just turning my back saying that’s it, wipe him aside.
“Hopefully we can come to an agreement with Man Utd, where we can stop the payments until he is fit, and then take them back on when he is fit.“
Chong and McGree have been excellent this season and have instilled positivity around St Andrew’s, and it will be a real shame if the former does not feature again for The Blues and the latter heads back to America in January.
The Blues do have Jordan Graham who is starting to show his chance-creating qualities, and as a result, he may be tasked with carrying the creative responsibilities.
With Chong expected to return in late March or early April, and coupled with the fact that it may take him a while to get back up to speed, it remains to be seen if he could reach the levels he has already displayed at St Andrew’s this season.