SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens wants to help protect injured captain Dion Conroy’s future following news that he may not play again this season.

Central defender Conroy was forced off with a knee injury during Town’s defeat at home to Newport County in League Two on September 28 and subsequently underwent surgery on Wednesday of this week.

Wellens has since revealed that the 23-year-old is not expected to be back in full training for six months, making it highly unlikely that he will return to the team before the campaign is out.

Conroy was appointed club captain at the Energy Check County Ground by Wellens over the summer after he signed a new one-year deal at the club.

Well aware that his skipper may not play again before his contract expires, Wellens told the Adver that he intends to look after Conroy with an offer of fresh terms to remain at SN1 further down the line.

“It is something we want to look at and it’s something the chairman has spoken about,” said Wellens.

“We wanted him to have this week off and get the operation done.

“His head will be all over the place, so I don’t think those conversations are to be had quite now, but what we have done is say we will look after Dion knowing he is out of contract in the summer and is in a precarious position because his contract is only one year.

“Our plan would be to look after him because he is a player we think of highly.

“We will make sure we rehab him properly and make sure his spirits are kept up because it is a long, lonely road back sometimes.

“We will make sure that he is treated right, and we will offer him a new contract and hopefully he will sign.”

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s League Two clash at home to Plymouth Argyle, Wellens revealed the extent of Conroy’s injury, with the defender suffering damage to both his medial and posterior collateral ligaments

Conroy fell victim to a similar injury back in September 2017 and did not play again that season.

Wellens says the fact Conroy has already recovered from such a dramatic career setback shows the character of the player and is optimistic he can make another impressive return to the game.

“In terms of full training, we are looking at around six months,” said Wellens.

“I always err on the side of caution and I have to take it that he is not going to be back for the rest of the season.

“If he then appears with six or seven weeks left, what a bonus that would be.

“You try and take every positive out of it and he has been through this situation before and come out the other side, and actually looks a stronger player for it.

“He needs to make sure that as soon as he is off his crutches and can get his rehab started, then he does that to the best of his ability.

“That gives him every opportunity to come back as good as he was before he had the injury.”