IN what's swiftly unravelling into another season of disappointment, there was another kick in the teeth this week with gloomy news from the treatment room.

Midfielder Alan Judge has been ruled out for the rest of the season, having suffered a stress fracture to a metatarsal in his right foot.

The 31-year-old picked up the injury in training on Tuesday.

He subsequently underwent a scan, which revealed a fracture, and now faces six to eight weeks on the sidelines.

I've seen some less than complimentary comments on message boards, questioning whether he will be missed because of his patchy form.

Judge himself would be the first to admit he hasn't done himself justice, this season.

In common with his team-mates (just like last season), he hasn't fulfilled his potential.

He hasn't reached the lofty heights we know he's capable of - or any degree of consistency - and that's bitterly disappointing, because he's undoubtedly talented.

In fact, Judge, perhaps more than anyone, typifies my personal frustration with this Town squad. He perfectly reflects the overall malaise.

I thought he'd be a force in League One. The mercurial heartbeat.

I tipped him to be pivotal and thought he'd terrorise defences with his creativity and set-pieces.

Sadly, however, nothing could have been further from the truth, despite his undeniable effort and workrate.

His impact (often used out of position) has been limited, to say the least.

Perhaps Judge has been hindered by previous injuries.

Maybe he's not in the right place mentally, having previously been close to leaving for QPR.

I'm speculating, of course, but, as I say, Judge represents the overall problems blighting this Ipswich side.

Undeniably talented but undoubtedly underachieving. The same could be said of so many.

That said, as one online post states, "football is an unsentimental sport and one man’s injury is another’s opportunity."

Judge's scenario presumably opens the door for someone else and I hope that's Armando Dobra.

The youngster looks a real talent - a fearless, dynamic breath of fresh air - and definitely worthy of using as much as possible in the closing weeks of the season, especially if the play-off dream continues to fade.