Royals in Hunt to replace NoelBy Jonny Fordham
October 30, 2009
Reading boss Brendan Rodgers is stepping up his search for a loan striker after learning that Noel Hunt will be ruled out for the season by a knee injury.
As exclusively revealed on getreading.co.uk, 26-year-old Hunt travelled to see a specialist in London on Wednesday night for an operation to repair damage to knee ligaments.
The Republic of Ireland ace had been relying on injections to get him through games.
The loss of joint-top scorer Hunt is a major blow to relegation-threatened Royals, who are preparing to face Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena tomorrow (3pm kick-off).
But Rodgers insists there is no need to panic, even though the club’s attacking options are restricted to Simon Church, Shane Long and Grzegorz Rasiak as David Mooney and youngster Nicholas Bignall are out on loan.
Royals’ manager said: “We’ve still got one or two (loan) targets we would like and there’s time with the international break coming up to look at it.
“It’s frustrating for Noel as he’s a good player and an important part of this squad.
“It’s been an on-going problem for him that he’s had since he was up in Scotland. So it was a case of trying to nurse him through with injections.
“But the pain was becoming too much for him and he’s only been at 50 per cent of what he has maybe been at before.”
Rodgers could make use of his strong contacts at Chelsea with a move for promising young striker Fabio Borini.
But it is unlikely Carlo Ancelotti will let the Italian go as he is knocking on the door of the first-team squad.
Rodgers’ options are limited by the tight wage bill at Madejski Stadium and getreading understands he is monitoring players in this country and abroad.
“There are always constraints financially, though, and it’s something that needs managing,” added Rodgers.
“I will always identify the type of player that I want and then I will sit and speak with (director of football) Nick Hammond and he will speak with the board in relation to that.
“I have a good relationship with the chairman.
“We speak during the week and the lines of communication are clear and open.
“If there’s a player I need or want then I will go to Nick and we work from there.”