U's duo set for surgery

Oxford United will be without two players during their pre-season campaign, the club have announced.

Midfielder Andy Whing (hip) and goalkeeper Ryan Clarke (foot) are to undergo operations this summer and are both likely to miss the build-up to the new campaign.

Clarke's likely absence for the first month of the 2014/15 season means New Zealand Under-20 goalkeeper Max Crocombe will be handed a chance.

Manager Gary Waddock told the club's official website: "It is a shame but they are both long-term injuries that need to be resolved.

"Having the operations early in the summer will give them both a little extra recovery time. You don't want to set timescales on these sort of things but they are good pros and we know they will work hard and look to get back soon as possible.

"In Whingy's case we have Danny Rose, Jon Meades and Josh Ruffels competing for midfield places and Johnny Mullins will be back in pre-season and can play that holding role as well.

"With Ryan we are very fortunate to have Max Crocombe available. He has had to be patient but deserves the opportunity to have a run of games in the side. He is someone we all believe has great ability and real potential."