A fresh injury setback has ended the season prematurely for one of Chesterfield’s experienced centre-halfs.
Ian Evatt could return before the curtain falls on the 2017/18 campaign, but his longterm defensive partner Sam Hird will not feature again before the summer.
Boss Jack Lester revealed that Hird, who injured his thigh at Coventry on New Year’s Day, has encountered a new problem.
“He’ll be out for the season,” said Lester.
“He’s had trouble with his hip and operations.”
Hird played 27 times this season before injury struck and then struck again.
Lester says it has left the 30-year-old demoralised.
“He’s a little bit low at the minute because as a footballer there’s nothing worse, he would love to be out there.
“He was a big part of us when we were going well.
“He’s missed by us, that’s football but he’s a little bit low and I understand why.”
Lester’s other defensive veteran, Evatt, has been working hard on a comeback from a knee injury he suffered at Christmas against Stevenage.
Speaking before Sunday’s game against Notts County, Lester said he wasn’t counting on Evatt’s return just yet, however.
“Evo is ahead of schedule but he’d be a good few weeks,” said the Town boss.
“It will get a stage where it’d be worth the risk.
“He’s trying his best to get back but he’s got a bit of a way to go yet.”
Evatt’s presence in the matchday squad would be a big boost to the Spireites, who will hope to escape the drop zone this weekend.
A win over fellow strugglers Port Vale on Friday would do it for Lester’s men, should Grimsby lose.
Neither 21st-placed Vale nor 22nd-placed Grimsby have been able to pick up a win in 2018 thus far and Chesterfield’s victory over Notts has piled the pressure on their rivals.