TROY Archibald-Henville could be out of action for up to six months with knee cartilage damage.

The Advertiser revealed last week that the defender, signed for £200,000 from Exeter in the summer, had flown out to the Villa Stuart sports rehabilitation facility on the outskirts of Rome in preparation for exploratory surgery - and Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio confirmed on Saturday that the 24-year-old will go under the knife today.

Archibald-Henville is due to be treated by one of the world’s leading sports injury specialists, Professor Pier Paolo Mariani, who will look to establish how bad the damage is to the cartilage in the defender’s knee.

Di Canio revealed that the injury is not new and he said Archibald-Henville will face between six weeks and half a year on the sidelines.

“He’s going to have surgery probably on Monday to check exactly what problem he’s got,” said the Swindon boss.

“We discovered in the last three years he’s had three surgeries – one in the right knee and two in the left knees . He had the surgery at Bristol and the rehabilitation wasn’t really good.

“I don’t want to say who is at fault but it has deteriorated the cartilage quite a lot. It’s a problem that, from the tests he had in the summer, didn’t come out. Once he had a hard session it came out, he had a scan and there is a dark area.

“We asked (about) the previous surgeries because they should have a disc or the film because now it is legal. Those disappeared.

“The lad didn’t remember and then we tried to ask the Bristol hospital for some pictures. We sent them yesterday to Mariani and the lad is more than happy to have it checked on Monday in arthroscopy.

“Once Mariani has gone inside he will decide whether he is one month and a half like Jay (McEveley), a simple problem; a medium problem is two and a half months or even, we have to be honest, six months if he needs an implant of cartilage.

“I told the lad and he is more than happy. I told him ‘everything they are going to do, you are in the best hands’ because if you do it in England, with all respect, in a place where they don’t have a surgery for athletes - you can have a big problem for the future.

“Even if it takes six months at the worst, you’re going to have the best implant, the best situation and he knows in six months he can come back and he is young, not 35. He can have the rest of his career with more chances to play and train hard as an athlete.”