Watford midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru could be out for as long as six months with anterior cruciate ligament damage.

The midfielder limped down the tunnel at the Madejski stadium midway through the first-half as Watford were beaten by Reading on Saturday.

The Watford Observer has been told that scans taken after the game revealed damage to the player's ACL and that he will now need surgery before he is able to return.

The news will provide further frustration to head coach Vladimir Ivic, who described Dele-Bashiru as "one of the best players on the pitch" before he was forced out of the game.

The club have since confirmed the injury on their website, with Dele-Bashiru saying he was disappointed after starting to feel a part of the Hornets' squd. 

“I’m obviously disappointed to be injured but my recovery starts now, and I’ll be working hard to come back stronger and to get back as soon as possible to help the team, hopefully towards the end of the season,” he said.

“When I went down the first time, I could feel something, but I didn't think it was bad and I felt okay to carry on. The second time I knew it was bad.

“It’s really frustrating because the last few weeks have been great and I have really felt part of the team. Training has been really enjoyable, so I am going to miss being out on the pitch with the rest of the boys. I’ve had lots of messages from the lads wishing me well, telling me to keep my head up and that I’ll be back stronger, which has been great.”

Dele-Bashiru's midfield teammate Tom Cleverley urged the 21-year-old Nigerian to think about the good things still to come in his career before wishing him well.

“It’s a massive blow for him and also for us as a team, he was really learning fast and was going to be an important player for us this season,” he told the club website.

“He’s a great lad and I hope his good attitude will help him get back as soon as possible.

“He should think about all the good things he has ahead of him in his career and the good times he will have when he gets back on the pitch. We all wish him well.”