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Promising Fulham midfielder Michael Timlin has been ruled out for the entirety of the forthcoming season after suffering a stress fracture of his back.

The Republic of Ireland youth international told the club’s official website that the problems surfaced late last season.

“I saw a specialist after the incident and he recommended that I rest for around six months. I’ve been resting since then and everything has been going well, I haven’t been feeling any pain, but I went to see him again recently and he said that I’ll most likely have to rest for up to a year. He said it might even need surgery but he didn’t want to risk that because of my age and the problems that could cause down the line.”

“I was doing well over the last season and this was going to be a big year for me – I was expected to play a lot of reserve team games and to try to make a push for the first team. It is a big setback. But you can’t ignore this type of injury. If I end up aggravating my back, there’s no telling what could happen. It’s frustrating but hopefully I’ve still got 15 years in front of me. I just have to do well when I come back.”

Fulham assistant manager Steve Kean, who oversaw Timlin’s development in his previous role as the club’s academy director, believes the talented midfielder can bounce back from this setback.

“He’s now a third year scholar and he’s going to miss the whole year but it’s not going to jeopardise his chances in any way, it’s just going to set him back a little bit. We’ll pick up the pieces when he’s told that he can play again.”