NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh admits he’s gutted to have potentially lost Aaron O’Connor for the rest of the season.

And the Exiles boss is also now without his first choice goalkeeper with number one and birthday boy Lenny Pidgeley out for a month with an ankle injury.

County have been forced to bring in a third stopper, ex-Torquay man Conor Thompson joining on a short-term deal as Edinburgh faces up to gruelling end to the campaign without last season’s 20-goal top scorer.

O’Connor underwent hernia surgery this week to deal with his ongoing groin problems that have sidelined him for the best part of year. At this stage, boss Edinburgh admits it’s unclear when he’ll play again.

County now have O’Connor, Pidgeley and striker Chris Zebroski out on the sidelines for at least the next few weeks, though Max Porter, Jamie Stephens, Ismail Yakubu, Danny Crow and Byron Anthony have all returned to action.

“It’s a blow to lose Azza again, unfortunately he’s had to go into hospital and have a further operation,” Edinburgh explained at his media briefing.

“It’s a great shame for the player and also for the football club. It’s one of those things, it couldn’t be detected in a scan and he’s had to go under the knife again.

“It’s been a long road for him, really, really tough, he’s up and down as you’d expect, he’s desperate to play football and he’s been so unfortunate to that end.

“We have to look forward with him not backwards, but he’s had to have both groins repaired and we need to be positive with him now... It’s difficult to say if he will play this season for us now.”

Edinburgh is less concerned about Pidgeley, who turns 30 today.

“Lenny hurt his ankle right at the end of the Southend game, he’s done the ligament and we’re probably looking at between two to four weeks,” he said.

“But Jamie (Stephens) is back and he has an opportunity to play some games, which he deserves.”