Last updated : 31 January 2012 By Lord Palmerston

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INJURY plagued striker Marc McCusker has been ruled out for the rest of the season.... Reports the Dumfries and Galloway Standard.

The former Clyde and Albion Rovers hitman has struggled for fitness since signing for Queens in the summer.

He has not started a game for his new club and manager Gus MacPherson confirmed that the 22-year-old will miss the remainder of the campaign.

MacPherson said: “Marc requires surgery and will miss the rest of the season. We found out this week and it is a real blow for the boy.”

 McCusker went to see a specialist recently and had a scan on the hip injury that has blighted his debut season at Palmerston. He will now go for surgery in early February.

The manager said: “He has a tear to his hip and it has taken a while to work out exactly what was wrong. We are still not 100 per cent certain of the problem but that will not be known until the doctor gets inside his hip.

“It is a very awkward injury and one that is difficult to properly diagnose.”

He added: “Marc has not featured much this season, much to everyone’s frustrations.

“He missed most of pre-season and then when he managed to get back in the squad he was hit with another setback. It has just completely hindered him and we are all very disappointed for the player.”

Kevin Smith also looks like he will be sidelined for a while. The striker has a suspected hernia and, in what would be a real blow to the Doonhamers, could also face a long spell on the sidelines.

MacPherson said: “Kevin has been to  see a specialist  but the early indications is that it could be a hernia. It is impossible to put a timeline on an injury like this and we will just have to wait and see.”