RYAN Ledson will be out for at least six weeks after tearing cartilage in his right knee on Tuesday night.

Oxford United's medical team received the bad news this morning after the 19-year-old went for an MRI scan last night.

Ledson, who joined from Everton last month, sustained the injury during the warm-up at Southend United and will see a surgeon next week to discuss whether an operation is required.

It is a big disappointment to head coach Michael Appleton, who was considering handing the England under 20 international his first United start on Saturday at Bolton Wanderers.

He said: "It’s a blow because he was ready and he’s a player who really excites me and I think he will really excite the Oxford United fans when they get to see him.

"He said he did it when he was passing the ball, which doesn’t make too much sense when you speak to the sports science lads.

"He might have done it already and then all of a sudden that’s what has sent it over the edge.

"It’s a strange one but apparently the tear is quite central so it will probably need stitching, which isn’t great.

"I was really looking forward to getting him in the team, but we move on.

"Those six weeks will come round very quickly and hopefully we’re in a position where he can really help us."