IFFY ONUORA is out for the season after emergency knee surgery.
The 36-year-old striker suffered a bad cartilage tear in a freak training accident after the 1-1 draw at Leyton Orient on Saturday.
He was admitted to the Yorkshire Clinic yesterday for X-rays and went into theatre straight away.
The deadline-day signing from Tranmere will be out for four to six weeks, effectively ruling him out of Town's Division III promotion push.
It's an unwanted 43rd birthday present for manager Peter Jackson, who informed the Town board at their 8.30am monthly meeting today.
"It's a big blow for the club and I'm bitterly disappointed for Iffy himself, because I know how keen he was to do well," said Jackson.
"This couldn't have come at a worse time with Pawel Abbott and Andy Booth facing suspension and it looks like Iffy will be out for four weeks at least, which is effectively the season."
Onuora's left knee locked up while he was doing some running on the Brisbane Road pitch after Town's controversial draw.
X-rays revealed a bad tear on the outside of the joint, where the cartilage had basically folded over, causing the discomfort.
Most of the offending cartilage was removed in the 5.30pm operation.
Jackson confirmed Town are thinking seriously about appealing against Abbott's dismissal at Leyton Orient and complaining about Booth's double booking (there is no outright appeal against two yellow cards).
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"Boothy's 'offence' was probably the worst sending-off I've ever seen and Pawel did nothing more than turn to face the Orient player (John Mackie) who was pulling his shirt," explained Jackson.
"Their lad just went down and we are not convinced the linesman even saw what happened. He certainly didn't flag straight away and we know for a fact the referee didn't see it.
"We don't think either player should have been sent-off, but we will wait for the referee's report first before hopefully taking some action."
Jackson will be without both Booth and Abbott for the Quid a Kid game against Scunthorpe at the McAlpine a week on Saturday. Abbott will also miss the following midweek trip to Northampton.
Town may consider using teenagers John McAliskey and David Mirfin as their strikeforce against Scunthorpe, especially as they cannot recall Jon Newby from his loan at York City until the sell-out trip to Hull City on April 24.
"There is certainly going to be a big opportunity for someone to step into the team and stake their claim," added Jackson, who was hoping Adnan Ahmed's double hernia operation today went well.
Meanwhile, Town fans have voted strongly in favour of broad red and black stripes as the change kit for next season (pictured) .
Of the fans who voted, 49% gave their backing to the kit, which was also the favourite of Jackson.
"It's a smart shirt and I'm glad the fans gave it their backing," added Jackson.