JUSTIN Richards's knee injury is not as severe as first thought, but he will still miss the rest of Oxford United's season.

The striker damaged a cruciate knee ligament in last Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers.

It was initially thought he would need an operation, which would rule him out for six months.

But a follow-up today has shown surgery is not needed, although the 12-week rehabilitation means he will not play again in the regular season.