By Wayne Veysey

12th Apr, 2017 | 12:48pm

Shattering Leeds blow as senior player undergoes surgery

By Alex Stevens

Senior Leeds player Marco Silvestri is set to miss the rest of the season in a shattering blow to the team.

Manager Garry Monk confirmed on Wednesday that the goalkeeper has undergone knee surgery and is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Monk stopped short of ruling Silvestri, 26, out for the remainder of the season but admitted it was a strong possibility.

The back-up ‘keeper sustained knee ligament damage in training on Friday of last week and subsequently pulled out of the 3-0 Championship win against Preston 24 hours later.

“Marco Silvestri has had an operation on his knee, at this stage we are unsure if he will be back before the end of the season,” Monk said to the official Leeds Twitter account. “It is disappointing to lose Marco, but it opens the door for someone else.”

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Academy product Bailey Peacock-Farrell was named on the substitute’s bench for Saturday’s triumph against Preston and is likely to once again understudy established No1 Rob Green for Friday’s league showdown against Newcastle at St James’ Park.

Given that knee ligament damage usually means a spell of a least a few months on the sidelines, it is difficult to see any outcome other than the end of Silvestri’s campaign.

Leeds’ win against Preston cemented their place in the play-off spots as the likelihood grows that their campaign will be extended until late May.

The injury is set to bring to a conclusion what has been a forgettable season for ex-Italy Under-21 international Silvestri, who lost his place as the first choice following the signing of Green last summer and has been forced to spend most of the season on the bench.

Silvestri has understudied Green for all but one of the 41 matches of Leeds’ Championship campaign.

However, he started all six of the team’s cup matches and demonstrated his calibre to the extent he was named in the EFL Cup team of the season following some fine displays in the competition.

Leeds head to Newcastle in fifth place in the league aiming to increase their 72-point tally and nail down a top-six finish.

In other Leeds team news, the club have sealed an out-of-window midfielder transfer.

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