JJ’s out for two months

Season-long loan: Michail Antonio
Season-long loan: Michail Antonio
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OWLS star Jermaine Johnson has been ruled out for around eight weeks.

The bombshell news coincides with the club landing Reading winger Michail Antonio on loan for the rest of the season.

Wednesday are also working on trying to sign an undisclosed forward. And it was suggested last night that a move for Doncaster Rovers’ Kyle Bennett had been turned down.

Johnson damaged knee ligaments in a tackle at Chesterfield last Saturday, it has been confirmed.

Manager Gary Megson summed up the blow by saying: “JJ has been playing arguably the best football of his career. scoring goals, making them and looking a huge threat. He’s expected to be out for eight weeks, We just have to tough it out”

He welcomed the arrival of Antonio, who first emerged as a loan target in November and played well at Hillsborough while on loan with Colchester.

“I wanted to have Michail on one wing and Ben Marshall on the other,” said Megson. “But it wasn’t possible at that time because Michail’s partner was due to give birth.” The baby was born last month.

“Michail has pace, strength, an eye for goal, and he works hard,” he added. “Our fans will have seen him when we played Colchester - I was surprised when he was taken off in that game.”

If Johnson is sidelined for eight weeks then he could be back for only the last few games of the regular league programme but will be available for the play-offs if the Owls end up in those - though hopes of automatic promotion are still alive.

The move for another forward in addition to the deal for Antonio - being handled by chief executive Paul Aldridge - comes after the club have hit a shortage of goals. Antonio, aged 21, could make a debut in Sunday’s Sheffield derby.

His last game for Reading was on January 28 in a 1-0 win against Bristol City. The loan includes the remaining league games and can be extended for any play-offs.