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Cheltenham Town skipper Aaron Downes out for the rest of the season

Pic: Pro Sport

CHELTENHAM TOWN have been dealt a major blow in their quest for an instant return to the Football League after captain Aaron Downes was ruled out for the rest of the season.

The 30-year-old Aussie was Gary Johnson’s first summer signing and has turned out to be one of the best in the National League this season.

He has led by example with impressive performances in central defence and has also scored some important goals,

Downes injured his knee in Saturday’s goalless draw at Boreham Wood and it has now been discovered that he has torn his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).

Robins boss Johnson said: “Obviously it’s a big blow for us but it’s a bigger blow for him. He’s been absolutely fantastic this season.

“The good thing is that he’s still going to be around the place so we still be that leader that people look up to, he’ll just miss the games.

“We’ve now got to find someone who can do the same as him in both penalty areas and be that leader on the pitch. These things happen in football. Downesy has been trough these things before and now we have to crack on.”

Cheltenham physio Gav Crowe added: “Downesy has torn his ACL and we are now going to consult with an Orthopedic Specialist about the best way to treat him.

“It’s going to be a long rehab period for Aaron but after speaking with the specialist we’ll have a clearer picture on a possible return date.”

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