Northern Ireland Under-19 international Ben Kennedy has received the worst possible birthday present with the news that he needs an operation on a knee injury and will be out for the rest of the season.
Kennedy turned 19 yesterday and was told that the injury he picked up in training won't heal without him going under the knife.
Having to face surgery is a major blow to the Lisburn-born lad, who has made 14 appearances for Teddy Sheringham's Stevenage this season after breaking into the first-team this time last year.
He was due to captain the Northern Ireland Under-19 team in the Elite round of the European Championship qualifiers against Holland, Poland and Ukraine in March.
Kennedy's performances for Stevenage have also pricked the interest of clubs in the Premier League.