Neal Ardley: AFC Wimbledon manager set for hip operation

Neal Ardley
Ardley was appointed AFC Wimbledon manager in October 2012

AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley is likely to miss Saturday's trip to Tranmere Rovers as he is due to have a hip operation on Thursday.

Dons assistant Neil Cox and first-team coach Simon Bassey will take charge if Ardley is not fit to travel.

"It is doubtful I will be there on Saturday. It might be too much for me," the 42-year-old told the club website.

"I am likely to be on crutches for two weeks and then it will be a long road back to where I want to be."

Ardley made almost 500 appearances during the course of his 16-year professional career, 301 of which were for the old Wimbledon FC.

"Similar to a lot of footballers, I think it is down to wear and tear," he added.

"I need some bone shaved off and I have a tear around the hip joint which affects my left side. I can still take training, but the operation is more for my well-being."

Ardley, who has been Dons manager since October 2012, says the timing of the operation is not ideal but he has faith in Cox and Bassey's ability to take control of the team at Tranmere.

"You cannot pick your time when it is being done through the NHS and I have been waiting for 18 months," he said.

"Neil, Simon and I have been in constant dialogue about the team and stuff like that. Hopefully, they will not need me on Saturday."

Neal Ardley
Ardley spent 11 years as a player with the old Wimbledon FC

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