Injury-hit Veno voices fears

VETERAN Ipswich Town defender Mark Venus said today: "Time is running out on my career and I've got to get my knee sorted."He moaned: "I'm having a terrible, terrible time.

By Dave Allard

VETERAN Ipswich Town defender Mark Venus said today: "Time is running out on my career and I've got to get my knee sorted."

He moaned: "I'm having a terrible, terrible time. It's a nightmare."

The 35-year-old left-side specialist, voted player of the year by admiring Town fans in May, has been out since early December through injury.

Scans have revealed a torn cartilage and tendon at the back of the knee.

Today or tomorrow he will visit aspecialist and surgery looks inevitable. The former Leicester and Wolves man went on: "It's been dragging on and on. Every time I try and do something my knee swells up.

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"If the operation is diagnosed then that will be for the best really I think. After that there will be definite light at the end of the tunnel. It may take six weeks or so to get back into action, but I'll have a target. I can look forward to the closing stages of the season. Once I've had the operation, which is most likely, then I can really focus again."

He signed a new one-year Town deal last summer and his future will be in the balance again come the end of this season.

Venus continued: "I know I can still do a good job for this club and am determined to show it."

Manager Joe Royle backs this up when he said: "Mark is a big dressing room influence. He's a senior player and a good player. I've got a great deal of time for him. Whatever course of action is taken, we've got to get him right.

"There is a long way in the season to go and Mark can come back and do well for us."

Thomas Gaardsoe will have further treatment today on a knee knock sustained in training early this week. The same goes for Chris Makin (back) and Tommy Miller (knee).

Town continue the quest for the Nationwide Division One play-offs on Saturday at Bradford City.

Tonight a Blues second string take on Harwich at the Royal Oak Ground in a game to officially open new changing room facilities (kick-off 7.45pm).

Experienced first team squad striker Alun Armstrong, who has been struggling again with a hamstring problem, is named in the squad.

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