Oxford suffer Basham blow
Steve Basham

Promotion-chasing Oxford United have been dealt a blow with news that striker Steve Basham is expected to miss the rest of the season.

The 29-year-old suffered a knee injury in the Nationwide Conference game at Exeter on New Year's Day and has struggled to return to full fitness since then.

Basham was keen to avoid knee surgery but this latest setback has forced him on to the treatment table once again.

After seeing a specialist this week, United's No 9 received the heart-breaking news that he won't play again this season.

"We've just had a very sad phone call. Bash won't play again this season," manager Jim Smith told the Oxford Mail.

"It's not the exact same injury, but it's all connected.

"He broke down again when we were at Southport and the specialist was seeing him this morning and he's ruled him out for the rest of this season.

"I feel more for Bash than I do for ourselves because we haven't had him all season basically.

"Quite a few of the draws we had would have been wins if we'd had the real Bash.

"It's a really sad blow for him, and not very good news in all honesty. We've just got to get on with it."

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