JON Obika has been ruled out for the rest of Oxford United’s season after damaging knee ligaments this week.

The striker came off second best in a challenge during a behind-closed-doors victory over Swindon Town on Tuesday.

Obika, who has scored eight goals in 57 appearances – 34 of which were starts – since joining in July 2017, is seeing a specialist today and is expected to need an operation.

The lay-off is likely to keep him on the sidelines until next summer, by which time his contract at United will have expired.

U’s boss Karl Robinson said: “It’s not good news obviously when you do your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), it’s possibly the worst injury in football in some ways, the longest one to recover from.

“I don’t think you’ll see him in an Oxford shirt this season and his contract’s up in the summer as well, so it’s a double whammy for him.

“We’ll obviously take full control of his medical care and make sure he gets back fully fit.

“We owe it to him, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, he’s a gentleman.

“We wish him well with his operation.”

It is the second such injury to hit the United squad this season, after Rob Hall’s season was ended in August.