ANDY Whing has been ruled out until February after Oxford United confirmed he needs an operation, writes DAVID PRITCHARD.

The midfielder tore a groin muscle in the 3-1 win at Mansfield earlier this month and went to see a specialist in London for advice.

While there was a chance the injury might heal, U’s boss Chris Wilder felt surgery was preferable as it limited the risks of a recurrence.

He said: “Whingy had to see a specialist, who said he could rehab and might come back a little bit quicker.

“But if he did that, there would be an opportunity of it going again. I can’t afford that to happen.”

Alfie Potter and Jon Meades, both recovering from ankle operations, are also not expected to return until February.

With three other players sidelined, United’s squad is stretched, but they are not expected to bring in any new faces ahead of today’s loan window closing at 5pm.