Sheffield Wednesday‘s automatic promotion hopes have today been dealt a huge blow, as Darren Moore confirmed that Ben Heneghan could miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury.
The centre-back, who joined on a free transfer from AFC Wimbledon during the summer, was forced off through injury against Lincoln City last weekend and looked in serious pain when coming off.
There were no confirmed reports of how long the 29-year-old would be missing, but he was absent for the midweek draw against Bristol Rovers at Hillsborough, with Moore’s side looking suspect in defence without the big centre-back.
However, Moore has now confirmed the worst, with Joe Crann sharing the news on Twitter after Moore’s press conference on Friday afternoon.
He said: “Horrible news for SWFC… Ben Heneghan could potentially be out for the rest of the season.”
Heneghan is currently ranked as the second-best performer in Sheffield Wednesday’s side this season according to WhoScored, with only the influential Barry Bannan bettering the centre-back’s superb 7.21 average rating.
The experienced defender has been a huge part of the Owls’ impressive defensive record which has seen them ship just 14 goals in 16 games so far this season but if Wednesday’s game is anything to go by, with Joey Barton’s side causing all sorts of problems on the break at Hillsborough, that defensive stability could be in real danger in the absence of Heneghan.
To make matters worse, Reece James is also currently sidelined, which forced Moore into selecting Jaden Brown as an unorthodox centre-back in midweek, and the lack of centre-back options could be a real problem for the Owls ahead of the January transfer window.
Considering Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town are both flying at the top of the league, losing a player as important as Heneghan is undoubtedly a huge blow to Moore’s hopes of returning to the Championship automatically this season, and he will be hoping that the former Blackpool defender can return from injury as soon as safely possible.