Luton Town manager Nathan Jones has revealed that goalkeeper James Shea could be injured for up to a year after revealing the extent of his knee injury.
The 30-year-old stopper had regained his place as number one earlier this season and was expected to be involved in the season run-in prior to his injury.
However, after colliding with teammate Tom Lockyer, he was substituted in the win over Cardiff City on Monday and the full extent of his injury has now been revealed.
In speaking to Luton Today after their draw with Blackpool, Jones admitted: “It’s a knee injury which will keep him out for a significant period of time, so that’s not good.
“It’s a cruciate, it could be anything from six to 12 months depending on everything, but it will be nine months probably.”
The news comes after Shea signed an extension on his contract, something Jones was always keen to do: “We were going to do it anyway, so what we don’t do is think, ‘now you’re injured we don’t look after you,’ that’s not the club.
“The club is wonderful, the first conversation Gary Sweet (chief executive) had with James and his agent after the game, he said ‘look, the original thing we were going to renew his contract, that still stands, no problem.’
“So he can just concentrate on getting better, that’s the class of the football club.”
It’s a massive blow for Luton as Shea has always been reliable when called upon. When Simon Sluga arrived, Shea was still brought back into the team, showing his reliability within the side.
This season, Shea again has been in great form when played and the timing of his injury is terrible luck as he deserves a chance at a promotion push given his history with the Hatters.
Shea will have time to do just that, even if Luton fail in their attempts this season, due to the extension on his contract which speaks volumes for the club as well.