CHAMPIONSHIP club Whitletts Victoria have been dealt a severe blow with the news that manager George Grierson could miss the remainder of the season as he recovers from surgery.

The gaffer was the dugout for Saturday’s visit of his former club Darvel to Dam Park but last night (Monday) he was undergoing surgery for a hip replacement. And with further surgery in January, the Vics boss, who led the club to promotion to the Championship last season, could be absent from the touchline for the rest of the season

Grierson said: “I had spoken to the Chairman about the fact I was having an operation and the club were happy to accommodate that. However the surgeons have now told me that I require to have two operations on my hips and all being well, given the recovery time it will be at least eight or nine months before I am able to return to the dugout."

Former Darvel and Girvan manager Scott Clelland will join the club on a temporary basis to support assistant boss Mark Ferris.

Added the boss: "I’m obviously disappointed to be missing so much of the season but I’ve known Scott for a long time and I’m delighted he has agreed to come in. I will still be manager and although I will miss a number of matches, I will be in regular contact with everyone and will make decisions on player recruitment and other issues but Mark, Scott and Kevin Deeney have full control on matchdays.”

Vics Chairman John Dalton added: “George made us well aware at the time of his appointment that he would require an operation at some point so we knew this day was coming and it was important that we bring in someone with experience of the junior game to work alongside Mark whom George knew and trusted. George's health has to come first and he will be given whatever time he requires to get back to full health."