Hughes undergoes hernia op

Defender Aaron Hughes has been ruled out after surgery on a hernia, and will now join Kevin Phillips on the sidelines. The striker is taking longer than expected to recover from a troublesome calf injury. "Aaron's injury is a blow because he has been a good solid player, but it needed doing,” was David O’Leary’s stark assessment. "We’re hoping he’ll be back for the Birmingham game on 16 October, but I don't know whether that is possible, it is too early to say, but that is the target."

Phillips is also aiming for a derby comeback as he bids to put his early-season injury nightmare behind him.
"I had my injury re-scanned on Tuesday and it showed it is mending well. I am moving in the right direction and I will definitely be fit for the Birmingham game,” the former Southampton forward said. "It has been a frustrating start to the season for me what with missing the Manchester United game with a side strain and now this. Touch wood I can now go through the rest of the season injury-free."