Ledley tells Cardiff hip operation is only way

Joe Ledley is on a collision course with Cardiff City after revealing he needs a hip operation. The Wales international claims his recent dip in form is a result of him not being fully fit, but he is playing through the pain as the Cardiff manager, Dave Jones, does not want to lose his star midfielder for up to three months.

Ledley said yesterday: "The gaffer wants me to play through the injury but I need an operation as soon as possible. Nobody is going to see the best of me until that operation is done and sorted out properly. I'm not using it as an excuse for my form, it's a fact."

The Football League will not grant Ipswich Town special dispensation to bring in a goalkeeper on an emergency loan deal. Ipswich had asked about signing someone before January as Richard Wright will be out for up to four months with a knee injury.

However, they were informed they did not fit the criteria as they already have two fully fit goalkeepers on their books in Arran Lee-Barrett and 18-year-old Ian McLoughlin, who has yet to play a senior game.

The Crystal Palace defender Paddy McCarthy has been ruled out for three months after undergoing another operation on his shoulder. The 26-year-old Irishman needed surgery after dislocating the joint last season and has had more treatment after falling awkwardly during training last month.

Reading midfielder Brian Howard will be sidelined for at least a month after surgery on a broken jaw.