WANDERERS have been dealt a huge blow with the news that Stuart Holden will be missing for the next six months.

The US international was nearing a first team return for the Whites but has been called back into hospital for a follow-up procedure on the knee injury he sustained in March.

It was during the operation that doctors discovered cartilage damage that could well mean his season is over already.

It comes as a massive blow to Owen Coyle's side, who had been hoping that the midfielder's return could spark an upturn in results with the club sitting bottom of the table heading into Sunday's game against Chelsea.

“It's a big blow for Stuart because he has worked so hard after he sustained his injury,” said the Whites boss. “But obviously, the main thing for us is to ensure his well being”