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Operation ouch... Cardiff duo facing long spell on sidelines.

Byline: TOM COLEMAN Reporter

CARDIFF City boss Neil Warnock has been handed a double injury blow, with midfield enforcer Aron Gunnarsson and striker Danny Ward set for prolonged spells on the sidelines.

Ward recently had a knee operation to try and solve a knee injury that has kept him sidelined for the last few weeks, but now looks set to be out for at least three months.

Speaking to the media, Warnock even suggested that the striker may well have been playing through the pain barrier before receiving treatment.

"Credit to Danny he must have been playing with this injury for a few weeks," he said.

"How he's done it I don't know. It's caught up now. He's had the operation and it was a good operation as well. It's disappointing but we hope to have him back before the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Gunnarsson, who hasn't played since the 1-0 win at Barnsley last month, is also undergoing an operation today to resolve a persistent ankle complaint and will be out for four to six weeks.

"Aron's got a floating bone in his ankle," Warnock added. "They thought they could steady it around but I always thought it would be better to have the operation and get it done, particularly with the World Cup coming up because that's going to be on the back of his mind.

"He was gutted when I spoke to him. We only made a decision because he'd been doing well apart from quick turns. There's a piece above his ankle bone that just won't go away, which the surgeon has seen.

"I took the decision away from him. I told him he had to have it done. We thought he would have the operation on December 29, but the surgeon rang us up and managed to squeeze him in this morning.

"So, we rushed him up last night because that gives us another week. I'm looking at it where if we can have him fit by February. That's like a signing at the end of the window and I think it's great to finally get to the bottom of the problem. A little bit like Ken.

The news will likely cause some Bluebirds fans to question how many more times they will seen Gunnarsson in a Cardiff shirt, particularly given that his contract runs out in the summer.

The midfielder has already stated that he would look to move on from the Cardiff City Stadium unless promotion is earned, and is free to talk to other clubs in the new year.

However, Warnock is relaxed about the prospect of Gunnarsson staying on for another season in the Welsh capital.

"Gunnars might be here next season if things go well for us," Warnock added.

"It's a bit like (Alexis) Sanchez at Arsenal. People come to the end of their contract. From my point of view it's probably good for him to have an op as it might make clubs think twice about signing him!" Despite the bad news on the injury front, Warnock has suggested that several of his injured stars could well be poised for a return over the Christmas break.

"Kadeem Harris has been training well with the Under-23s. (Craig) Bryson and (Kenneth) Zohore have both done more this week and they're on a plan with the fitness guys.

"They said they would be in line to come back for the first week of January, but we quite like the look of them and we'll be speaking to them regarding the Christmas period.

"They stepped up yesterday, so we'll see more today when they get in to see if there's any reaction there. ahead of the game."

The absence of Danny Ward will be felt after the ex-Rotherham man hit scoring form


Aron Gunnarsson has had surgery on his injured ankle
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 23, 2017
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