Date:Friday February 2 2007
Colossal centre back, Ibrahima Sonko, is set to miss the rest of the season with the knee injury suffered in Reading`s 3-1 victory over Sheffield United two weeks ago.
The mammoth defender of 25-years of age has been sitting out sidelined since the game but it was only recently ther severity of the situation was realised.
Sonko has damaged cruciate ligaments in his knee, a fate suffered by his team-mate Peter Mate who is also missing the whole season.
Sonko has been a talismanic figure in the Reading starting eleven, involved in every one of Reading`s league games last season, the Senegalese international is the lynchpin of the Reading defence.
Manager and mentor, Steve Coppell admitted that the loss of Ibrahima would be a huge setback to the club 'We will be missing Sonko for the rest of the season,'
But the Royals boss was adamant that Sonko will return, "It is not good for us but medical science is such that it is just a question of a time delay. We expect him to come back as good as ever within a period of time."
Steve Coppell`s playing career was ended by a similar injury, he praised Sonko for how he dealt with the situation:
"It was incredible really that he tried to play on. I have done my cruciate and could just about hobble to the side of the pitch."
But now the Royals will have to get used to life without their larger then life defender, Steve Coppell has already been buying in the transfer window in an attempt to find a defender to take his place.
Alan Bennett, Michael Duberry and Greg Halford will join other Royals defenders Sam Sodje and André Bikey in contention for the open space in the starting eleven. But one thing is certain, whoever plays they will have some pretty big boots to fill.
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