Justin Harris has told his Lewes team-mates: Go and win the Vase for me.

The combative midfielder has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an horrific leg break in last Saturday's 2-2 draw at Hemel Hempstead.

Harris suffered a broken tibia and fibia in his left leg following a nasty tackle by Hemel's Rene Street, who was immediately sent off.

The injury rules Harris out for the rest of the season, which means he misses the Rooks' FA Vase quarter-final against AFC Sudbury next Saturday as well as their assault on the Ryman League division two championship.

It is a huge blow for injury-hit Lewes as Harris has been arguably their best player this season.

Harris, 25, said: "The first thing I thought of when I did it was the Vase.

"I'm absolutely gutted but everyone has stood by me, my team-mates and the club. The club have said they will pay me until the end of the season and I will be staying loyal to them."

Harris has received plenty of good wishes over the last few days including a shirt from Stoke City which has been signed by the first team squad. Harris had a good game when he played for Lewes against Stoke in the first round of the FA Cup earlier this season.

He has also received support from team-mate Paul Stokes, who has been ruled out for the season with a broken ankle.

Now recovering at his Uckfield home, Harris said: "I have just got to stay positive. I have heard from Stokesy. He has been on the phone giving me encouragement."

The injury could sideline Harris for up to a year. He will be in plaster for 12 to 16 weeks and has been told it will be another four weeks after that before he can walk properly.

It will then be a case of building up the strength in his legs and general fitness before considering a return to action.

Despite the blow, Harris is determined to be at the club's Vase tie next week and is confident his team-mates can achieve success without him.

"As soon as I came off last Saturday they scored, so they clearly don't need me," he joked.

"It is not a one man team. I have plenty of faith in the squad."

And reaching the final? "It would be a day to remember and I would still be part of it," he said.

Lewes boss Jimmy Quinn believes the loss of Harris is a major blow to their challenge for honours.

"He is irreplaceable and we will be affected by his loss.

"It is a massive blow. We have had more than our fair share of injuries this season and I think this is one too many.

"It is getting a wee bit ridiculous. We are just turning up and hoping we have enough players at the moment."

Lewes, who entertain Romford tomorrow, have signed Marc Rice and John Crumplin as cover for the run-in to the season.