MORTON have suffered a major blow after it was confirmed that on-loan striker Jimmy Knowles' season is over and he has left the club.

The 19-year-old had to be substituted after he fell awkwardly during last weekend's defeat against Kilmarnock - and scans show he has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

Knowles has now returned to his parent club Mansfield Town ahead of surgery and a long period of rehabilitation.

Ton boss Gus MacPherson says he is gutted for the young hitman, who he'd targeted over the summer and was delighted to secure for the season.

He told the Tele: “Jimmy has a serious one and sadly his season is over.

“He’s ruptured his cruciate and he’ll return to Mansfield for surgery and his rehab will be completed down there as well.

"We wish Jimmy well - for someone so young he has been a model professional, especially considering that he’s been so unlucky since he’s been here.

“In his second week, he got Covid and then we had to get him back up to speed.

“He’d been getting better and stronger with every game, was getting fitter and what has happened is just really frustrating and unfortunate.

“His season was just getting started and he was getting used to the players round about him and they were getting used to him.

“It was an innocuous challenge but his leg planted and buckled in the turf, it's a real shame."

MacPherson says that having got to know the youngster over the last few months, he is confident that he will bounce back.

He told the Tele: “It is one of those things that happens in football and our thoughts are with Jimmy ahead of the long recovery process, because he is the most important person in this situation.

“He’s lucky in one respect though, as he’s got time on his side - he’s still a young kid.

“When something like this happens, you’re obviously majorly disappointed, but it’s a common enough injury now that it’s treatable.

“Jimmy will get his head around doing the hard work on the rehab side of things, he's shown a great attitude in his short time with us.

"He has lots of hard work ahead of him in terms of the rehab, but that won't be a problem for a lad like him.”

MacPherson has meanwhile rallied his troops ahead of today’s tough test against Raith Rovers.

They defeated Ton at Cappielow earlier in the season but the boss insists his side have nothing to fear against John McGlynn’s in-form outfit.

He said: “Raith are a very good team, attack-minded and on a good run of form.

“It’s another challenge for us.

"But in the home game we were unfortunate to lose.

"We know that it’ll be tight and there’s nothing to fear."