Chesterfield are looking into the possibility of recalling players out on loan as they await what is expected to be bad news on Charlie Carter.
The attacking midfielder will be missing for ‘a lot longer’ according to boss Martin Allen’s estimates, while Drew Talbot, Robbie Weir and Shwan Jalal all need time on the sidelines.
Carter re-injured his ankle in Saturday’s draw at Maidstone, just his third game back after recovering from a problem with the same joint.
Allen isn’t yet certain on how long he will be without the highly rated 21-year-old.
“Charlie has got ligament damage, I’m waiting to find out the full extent.
“That’s not going to be a short term injury, it’s not good news, but I can’t disclose fully what has happened until we’ve had a meeting with a consultant.
“It’s very tough on all of us, Charlie is an outstanding player going forward with craft, quality, goalscoring and assists.
“We’re going to miss him now for a lot longer.”
The injury happened when Carter went up for a header with a defender, who fell on the Spireite’s ankle when they landed.
It wasn’t a case of coming back from the first injury too soon, insists Allen.
“He hasn’t missed a day’s training through a weak ankle,” said the manager.
“I believe he’s been doing all the extra strengthening exercises before and after training to ensure the area that was weak got stronger.
“It was no problem to play him.”
Fellow injury victims Talbot, Weir and Jalal are all out of action for the next game, AFC Fylde at home on Saturday.
“(Drew) just needs to rest his knee, it needs to settle down, Robbie Weir is probably about three weeks away, he’s played back-to-back just about every game and given us everything, Shwan is probably another 10 days away.
“We’ve decided to rest (Drew) for a little while, he probably needs a good break before he comes back to the speed he was at, at the start of the season.
“He will get that break, he’s a good player.”
With four first team players ruled out, Allen revealed earlier in the week that he had been given the green light to explore the loan market.
But there’s another possibility for reinforcements – bringing back players who have been loaned to other clubs.
Chesterfield currently have Brad Barry and George Smith on loan at Dover, Ify Ofoegbu and Charlie Wakefield at Sheffield FC, Louis Dodds at Port Vale and Gozie Ugwu at Boreham Wood.
Ugwu scored two goals for the National League side last weekend, including a wonderstrike.
Allen was tight lipped on the situation, but admitted it was an option the club were investigating.
“We’re looking into that as well,” said Allen.
“(But) I’m very happy with what we’ve got.
“It’s now a chance for someone else to step up to the plate and prove their worth.”