Wigan Athletic manager Malky Mackay has described losing Chris Herd as a “huge blow”, after the Aston Villa loanee suffered suspected medial ligament damage in the club’s hard-fought 1-0 win at Reading.
The Australian midfielder was stretched off at the start of the second-half after receiving extended treatment and Mackay has told Wigan Today that he now fears his season could be over.
“Chris looks as though he has an issue with his medial ligament which could see him maybe needing surgery and missing the rest of the season,” he said.
“It's another situation we're just going to have to deal with, but they seem to be coming thick and fast at the moment.
“He's been fantastic since he's been here, he has a huge character and his his performances have been excellent.
“It’s a huge blow to lose him.”
Herd, 25, joined Wigan on a six-month loan deal last month following another short-term spell at Bolton Wanderers earlier in the season, and has since featured six times for the club.
With his Villa contract expiring in the summer, he had hoped to earn a permanent move to the Latics, but now looks set to return to his parent club for treatment.
Moving to England aged 16, the three-time capped Socceroo has made 42 total appearances for the claret and blues since his top-flight debut in November 2010, including 20 starts during the 2011-12 season under former boss Alex McLeish.
He has featured in just 15 games since the now-departed Paul Lambert’s appointment in the summer of 2012, however, and failed to make an appearance for the club this term before moving to Wigan.
Also suffering with various injuries during recent campaigns, the versatile international was supposed to be a core contributor to Australia’s Asian Cup win this winter, but was forced to withdraw from the squad after damaging his Achilles tendon in a training session prior to their opening game against Oman.