Donovan Pines is set to miss the remainder of Barnsley’s season with a thigh problem which requires surgery, Neill Collins has confirmed.

The American centre-back has started three games for the Reds since signing in January, coming off the bench once, and scoring twice. But he picked up an injury at home to Bolton earlier this month and is expected to return for pre-season.

Collins told the Chronicle: “It’s very disappointing. The club took really extensive medical advice from a number of people and it was categorical that this was the best route to get him back to his best.

“It’s nothing majorly serious. We’re disappointed for Donovan and the team, but as always it’s an opportunity for someone else.”

Collins added: “You always feel the victim. We sign someone who we think will be really important, then he picks up an injury. It’s football. It happens across the board.”

Collins said earlier in the month he hoped Pines would recover by now. He said: “At times when we are asked about injuries we can’t be fully transparent. I always try to be as transparent as I can but it’s private, confidential information and 23 other teams in this league would like to know it as well.”

Pines had not played for five months then made four appearances in 17 days. Collins said: “We have been very fortunate that the medical staff have done a fantastic job. We monitor all these things. Based on all the numbers, Donovan was not high risk.

“We had built him up but one thing you can’t quantify is that might be third or fourth time in Donny’s career that he has played Saturday then Tuesday.

“You are never sure how the body reacts to that. You never get 100 per cent right. We have got a lot more right than wrong. No one could have foreseen him picking up the injury in the way he did.”

Pines’ fellow centre-back Robbie Cundy could be available for selection after playing three under 21s games having missed almost a year with injury.

Collins said: “I didn’t have any expectations with Robbie. He didn’t train or play for most of my time here. But he’s really caught my eye with his composure, and his ability to win aerial duels. He’s someone I think will have a role to play. How big or small will depend on a number of factors, but at least he’s in there with a chance.”