Leeds United have confirmed that midfielder Tommaso Bianchi will undergo surgery on a knee injury, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
Bianchi suffered medial ligament damage during Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Reading and is not expected to play any further part in United’s Championship term.
The Italian, 26, was injured in a first-half challenge with Reading’s Danny Williams, leaving the pitch on 30 minutes having initially attempted to play on.
Bianchi’s appearance at the Madejski Stadium was his first for more than a month but he is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines and will go under the knife shortly.
Head coach Neil Redfearn said: “He’s going to be out for a while. It’s a medial ligament injury and he’s going to need an operation.
“We’re looking at a couple of months so he’s perhaps out for the season. It’s disappointing for him because he’s a really good kid who works hard and tries his best.
“He’s been out the picture but he came back in the other night and I thought he was doing okay. But he’s only young so he’ll be back.”
Bianchi joins Aidan White and Zan Benedicic on the list of long-term absentees. White and Benedicic are also likely to miss the rest of the season.