Double blow for Blackwell
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve Stone and Rob Hulse will both miss the start of the new Championship season.Leeds United have been hit by the news that Steve Stone and Rob Hulse will both miss the start of the new Championship season.
Stone has been suffering from an Achilles injury sustained during pre-season and the club have now opted for him to go under the knife, rather than hope for a recovery.
The loss of the former Portsmouth and Aston Villa winger is a massive blow for manager Kevin Blackwell as he was expected to play a key role on the right-hand side of midfield this term.
"We could have waited and waited, but with an operation we know where we are going, and Stoney will be out for between eight and 12 weeks," Blackwell told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
"It's a massive blow to us and Steve is really disappointed, but there's nothing we can do about it."
If losing Stone for at least two months was not enough, Hulse, who sealed a permanent move to the club this summer, will miss the opening four weeks of the campaign with an ankle injury.
"Rob has quite severe ligament damage and we are looking at another four weeks for him," said physio Dave Hancock to the club's official website.