Jones confirms Town keeper Shea faces up to a year on the sidelines with serious knee injury

Luton stopper still offered new contract at Kenilworth Road

By Mike Simmonds
Sunday, 24th April 2022, 7:30 am
Updated Sunday, 24th April 2022, 10:50 am
Town keeper James Shea faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines
Town keeper James Shea faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines

Luton boss Nathan Jones has conceded keeper James Shea could face up to a year on the sidelines after revealing the extent of the knee injury he suffered at Cardiff City last Monday.

The 30-year-old was expected to be Town’s number one for the run-in, but was then substituted just moments before half time in Wales after colliding with team-mate Tom Lockyer when collecting a cross.

In his pre-match press conference for yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Blackpool, Jones had stated the club were assessing Shea, but prior to kick-off, it was announced by the Hatters that Shea had signed a new deal at Kenilworth Road, but that he also required ‘surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation.’

Speaking after the game, Jones said: “It’s a knee injury which will keep him out for a significant period of time, so that's not good.

“It’s a cruciate, it could be anything from six to 12 months depending on everything, but it will be nine months probably.”

Despite the injury, Luton went through with their decision to extend Shea’s stay at Kenilworth Road, the keeper having made 106 appearances since arriving in the summer of 2017 from AFC Wimbledon.

Jones added: “We were going to do it anyway, so what we don’t do is think, ‘now you’re injured we don’t look after you,’ that’s not the club.

“The club is wonderful, the first conversation Gary Sweet (chief executive) had with James and his agent after the game, he said ‘look, the original thing we were going to renew his contract, that still stands, no problem.’

"So he can just concentrate on getting better, that’s the class of the football club, that’s how we do our work here, so no doubt on that.”

When asked how Shea has been since finding out the extent of his injury, Jones added: “It’s a big injury, disappointing naturally, but he’ll get over it, he’ll come back from it.

"It’s important now he focuses on getting better and rehab.

“We’ve got something to try and achieve in these next few games, and we’ll see what happens.”