Yesterday afternoon West Bromwich Albion confirmed that former England midfielder Gareth Barry would soon undergo surgery to correct a knee problem he’s been struggling with since the beginning of last March.
"It’s a massive disappointment for me but I just have to accept I need the surgery."
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) April 18, 2019
Interim head coach Jimmy Shan confirmed the news on wba.co.uk as he undertook his press duties ahead of Good Friday’s Championship clash with Hull City at The Hawthorns and Barry himself explained.
“It’s a massive disappointment for me but I just have to accept I need the surgery. I have tried to manage the injury in order to see the campaign through to the finishing line but it’s just not been possible. But I’ll be backing the boys all the way. Promotion is still very much the focus and I’ll be around to offer what ever help I can from the sidelines. Having the operation now means I should be ready for pre-season training. I have enjoyed my football this season and still feel I have a lot to offer.”
The 38-year-old has had a mixed time at the club following his arrival from Everton back in 2017 as it coincided with a bad spell under former managers, a Spanish shambles and our relegation from the Premier League, but his efforts this season in his 27 appearances have largely won his doubters back over as he played the steady head in midfield.
We haven’t seen him since March 1 and the heavy defeat to Leeds United and he was replaced by James Morrison in the 63rd minute. With the issue not clearing up naturally, the decision has been taken to end his season early with hopes that surgery will see him return ready for the 2019/20 campaign.
Given his advanced years, it’s understandable fans have reacted to this news as they have.
Incredible performances this season especially popping up when we needed a calm head in the middle, a real loss for the rest of the campaign, all the best for the operationa and wishing you a speedy recovery. #WBA pic.twitter.com/YfhQe6afrs
— Rob Paddock (@RobPaddockWBA) April 18, 2019
Hope it goes well Gareth, you've played with top class and professionalism for us this season ????????
— JonW1995 (@JonW1995) April 18, 2019
That’s his career finished ????
— Aiden Porter (@AidenPorterWBA) April 18, 2019
whatever way you look at this GB is a big loss to us . his experience on the pitch would have been invaluable in the PO games
— Carl Burkitt (@baggyboy1878) April 18, 2019
Hope you are feeling tip top soon Barry!
— Matt Skeldon (@MattSkeldon_WBA) April 18, 2019
That's a big lost ☹️
— Michael Barnes (@Michael65101368) April 18, 2019
Didn't what to end his career by finishing the viles promotion hopes ????
— Baggieboy (@Baggieboy1878) April 18, 2019
@BenHewitt7 no play off magic from this man ????
— Dwyer (@HenryDwyer1) April 18, 2019
So sorry to hear this Gareth! You have been immense this season! Hope you recover quickly!!! ????⚪️
— MrsCarbfairy (@ecarberry1) April 18, 2019
— John (@Johntur01) April 18, 2019