Oxford United have suffered a shattering injury blow after news emerged on-loan West Ham winger Nathan Holland is out for the rest of the season.
Holland came off with a hamstring injury in the first half of Saturday’s 3-2 win at Shrewsbury.
The injury didn’t appear too severe at first, but Holland has now returned to West Ham for a further scan and medical treatment.
The twenty-one-year-old signed a six-month loan deal with Oxford in January, and he’s impressed at the Kassam Stadium. He’s made fourteen appearances and scored three goals, including a stunning strike in the U’s FA Cup fourth-round replay defeat to Premier League Newcastle United in February.
Oxford boss Karl Robinson confirmed the news via the club’s official website. He said: ‘It’s gutting for him. He has done ever so well for us and has a fantastic future ahead of him, but the injury means he isn’t likely to be involved again.’
‘I like him as a lad and who knows, there may be opportunities in the future, but we thank him for what he has done in his short time here and will try to keep him involved in what we think will be a really exciting finish to the season.’
In-form Oxford have had a great season so far. They currently sit third in the table, two points behind Rotherham in second. They host strugglers MK Dons on Saturday, having won their last five league games, scoring fourteen goals in the process.
A real blow for Oxford but they have shown resilience all season and bounced straight back from losing key players Tariqe Fosu and Shandon Baptiste to Brentford in January.
While Oxford fans will be disappointed, they will also be interested to hear their manager hint it might not be the last they see of Holland in the yellow jersey.
Expect Robinson to pull out all the stops sign Holland again in the summer, especially if he can offer the player Championship football.