Cheltenham Town manager Gary Johnson is to undergo heart surgery today, the club have announced.
Johnson has not been present at the past two matches as The Robins lost at Doncaster and Exeter City, with assistant Russell Milton having been in the dugout and on media duties instead.
The procedure is anticipated to be straightforward and Johnson is set to miss the next few weeks whilst he recovers.
He guided Cheltenham to the National League title last season and his side currently sit 22nd in League Two, seven points clear of the drop zone.
Upon the announcement, Cheltenham Chairman Paul Baker told the club’s website: “We wish Gary a full and speedy recovery from his operation and we will be offering our full support to him and his family over the next few weeks.
“The most important thing is that Gary returns to full health and the backroom staff led by Russell are more than capable of running things in his absence.
“We look forward to welcoming Gary back once he has been cleared to return to work but, realistically, this may take some time but the board will give Gary their full support in his recovery process.”
— Cheltenham Town FC (@CTFCofficial) March 16, 2017
Johnson had a message for the fans, again via the club website, after the announcement as he said: “I’m sorry to say that at the present time, after much consultation, I am going to need heart surgery.
“The timing is not the best but it is out of my control. I’m told that I’ll be fighting fit within the next few weeks.
“Until then I ask politely for everyone; the board of directors, management staff and fans to come together as they have been all year to support our team.”
The Robins take on Cambridge United at the LCI Rail Stadium on Saturday as they look to distance themselves from any remaining relegation fears with just nine games of the season to go.