Richard's Season Over

Richard Garcia has sustained an injury which has ruled him out for the rest of the season.

"He was in Australia on the Olympic trials with the U23s and on Sunday he twisted his cartilage as he was crossing the ball," explains John Green.

"He had an arthroscopy which also revealed what hadn't shown up in the scan, that he had ruptured his cruciate - which is a different ball game altogether.

"It is a bad scenario; he will have reconstruction on his ligament, the same one that he damaged earlier in his career, and will be out of action for about nine months."

Richard, who of course progressed through the same youth team as the likes of Joe Cole, has a contract that expires this summer and Alan Pardew admits:

"It is a real unfortunate one for him; it was a real make or break year for him and that has put a major dent in the season.

"It is a massive blow for the kid; he has had a tough year and that tops it, really - but he will come again and we will look after him.

"We wish him well and I will certainly be giving him a call soon once he has got over the disappointment to give him some words of encouragement."