WELLINGTON Phoenix striker Paul Ifill, the subject of racial abuse from fans in Sunday's game against Adelaide, will miss at least the next month with an ankle injury.
Ifill, an English-born Barbados international, had surgery on Wednesday to clean out his right ankle, and team physio Wayne Roberts said it would be four to six weeks before the the former Millwall, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace player was back in action
The 33-year-old, who was the club's best player in each of the last three seasons, has been out of sorts this season.
Despite that, head coach Ricki Herbert said it was disappointing to lose such an influential player.
"The injury has obviously been affecting Paul's form, and rather than wait until the end of the season, I felt it best to get it done now," Herbert said.
The Phoenix has dropped to seventh on the A-league ladder after a strong start, and face a tough game today against Central Coast in Wellington.
Jeremy Brockie, who missed the last game with a hamstring injury, is the obvious replacement for Ifill in the starting side.
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