Wanderers defender Wheater out for nine months

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

Wanderers have been dealt another cruel injury blow with the news that David Wheater will be missing for the next nine months.

Scans have today confirmed that the big centre half ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during Sunday's 2-2 draw with West Brom at the Reebok.

It also means he is unlikely to return to action before the end of next season.

Zat Knight is likely to come into the back four for this weekend's survival showdown at Stoke City.

Knight, whose last start came against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on March 3, replaced Wheater at the break and would be in pole position to do so again.

Gretar Steinsson also looks set to miss the final game after sitting out the last three with a thigh injury.

Owen Coyle also has worries over Martin Petrov - another player who was withdrawn on Sunday - and Nigel Reo-Coker, who didn’t train at all last week because of a hamstring problem but who did come through 90 minutes unscathed against the Baggies.

“Nigel has played through an injury but I thought he did well,” said the Wanderers boss, speaking before news of Wheater's long-term injury. “We’ll have to take stock at the start of the week and see where we go from there.

“Injuries we have picked up this year have been beyond belief.

“We have got to take the slap in the teeth - which it undoubtedly is - and try and get a team out on the pitch.

“We can make it right but it will need a big performance at Stoke.”

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