Date: 17th March 2011 at 8:15am
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Cardiff City have been dealt a hammer blow with the news that the hamstring injury picked up by lively striker during the 2-2 draw with Barnsley is more serious than first though meaning the former Newcastle United man will miss the remainder of the campaign.

Chopra went down after breaking down the City right flank, his attempted cross to Emmanuel-Thomas was blocked and he was in obvious pain, immediately calling for Sean Connelly and signalling a hamstring injury.

It was initially feared he would miss the next 3/4 games but return for the run-in. However, it was confirmed last night that the injury is a grade three tear, a serious problem that will require weeks of rest, followed by rehabilitation to strengthen the muscle before he is ready to return to full training.

That means 9 goal Chopra will be out for 3 months and will not feature again this season. It’s a huge blow and we will miss his industry and work-rate as much as his goals – he has looked lively of late despite poor team form and a lack of quality service. It’s a big blow for club, fans and Chopra himself.

The Bluebirds have no like-for-like replacement, and Chopra remains the only natural finisher in the entire squad. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Craig Bellamy can provide pace in a two man attack alongside Bothroyd but both are better employed wider and from deeper. ‘Beast’ Jon Parkin and youngster Nat Jarvis are alternatives but unlikely to be used by Dave Jones to fill the Chopra void.

Instead that place is likely to go to an extra midfielder, leaving Bothroyd in attack alone. A three man midfield of Olofinjana, McPhail and Whittingham would give license to widemen Bellamy and Emmanuel-Thomas to push on and support Bothroyd with Koumas and Chris Burke providing cover for those positions.