JOE Rothwell looks set to be ruled out for several weeks after suffering an injury in Oxford United's 3-2 defeat at Bradford City.

The midfielder went down off the ball at Valley Parade and had to be substituted in the tenth minute.

Boss Pep Clotet admitted the initial diagnosis was not promising.

He said: "It looks like a tear in the hamstring.

"I just wish him the best, we hope that 2018 is going to be a bit kinder to our players.

"It's a bad moment for him, but he will get over it.

"We've gone through the wars.

"We're still in a position to use the January transfer window smartly and try to get a team that can keep everyone happy in the second part of the season."

United's fitness issues had appeared to be easing, with Gino van Kessel and Agon Mehmeti returning to action in the last fortnight.

But Rothwell joins a group of important players in the treatment room.

Skipper Curtis Nelson is expected to miss the rest of the campaign, while Christian Ribeiro was forced to retire in November.

Ivo Pekalski is making progress but February is viewed as the earliest he could make his U's debut, while Rob Hall may be out until early March.