YORK City's bid to pull off an FA Cup shock - and climb back up the Vanarama National League North table has been dealt a sizeable blow with Simon Heslop set for a two-month spell on the sidelines.

The former captain was suspended for the league game against Telford on October 27 after picking up five yellow cards, and he has since sat out the next two matches against Spennymoor and Bradford Park Avenue due to a knee problem - with the team losing all three encounters and shipping nine goals in the process.

Boss Sam Collins has revealed the 31-year-old has now under gone "clean-up" surgery on his knee, which will likely rule him out for eight more weeks, starting with Saturday's trip to Swindon Town in the FA Cup first round.

He also praised the midfielder for playing through the pain prior to being sidelined.

The Minstermen currently languish in 15th place in the league.

Collins said: "He had an operation on Saturday on his knee.

"He's been struggling and we've not had him for the last few games. After seeing the surgeon and a specialist, it was decided the best thing to do was to get it seen to straight away."

Heslop was found to have a "loose body" in the knee joint so has had that removed and the cartilage repaired.

"It's disappointing because he's done great for us so far. It's just one of those things. We're going to pick up injuries along the way. It's part of the game.

"The most important thing now is we get him back fit as quickly as possible."

Collins added: "He's been playing through it for a while, which says a lot about the lad. He's done really well, but it's got that point where the best thing all-round is to get it seen to properly."

Meanwhile, City were expected to field a youthful team in tonight's North Riding County FA Senior Cup tie away to Northallerton Town (7.30pm), with the first-team focus much more so on Saturday's FA Cup first round tie at Swindon Town.

Northallerton currently sit fifth in division five of the Northern League, with eight wins and three draws from their 15 league games.