Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Monday March 30 2009
Simon Gillett will miss the rest of the season after scans revealed that he has torn his knee cartilage during a routine training session.
An operation will be scheduled as soon as possible, with Gillett expected to be on the sidelines for four to six weeks, meaning the combative midfielder is highly unlikely to feature again this season.
Gillett has spent a lot of time out on loan at both Bournemouth and Blackpool respectively, but the 23-year-old was handed his first start by former boss Jan Poortvliet as Saints kicked off the current campaign away to Cardiff.
The Oxford-born midfielder has gone on to make a further 27 league appearances this season, impressing in the defensive midfield role.
Head Coach Mark Wotte told the club's official website that news of Gillett's injury is a big blow to Southampton's survival hopes.
"It's a big blow because Simon has been one of our key players over the last six weeks and so this comes as very bad news," he said.
"It was very unlucky for him because we had had a good training week and he just turned awkwardly on Thursday. It is just one of those unfortunate training ground injuries where no-one is to blame."
The Saints do have cover in the form of Morgan Schneiderlin and veteran midfielder Paul Wotton, and Wotte refused to let Gillett's injury dampen his spirits ahead of a crucial run-in, starting with a home tie against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
"We have Paul Wotton and Morgan Schneiderlin who can fill in though, so it's not all bad. I am positive that either of those players can come back in and do as well as Simon has done.
"In fact, Paul did come on against Blackpool and did well, so we will continue to prepare for the next match against Charlton."
Date:Monday March 30 2009
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