Luke Wilkinson will be unavailable for this weekend’s trip to Boreham Wood – but manager Darren Sarll said he is waiting for clarity on how long he will be without his captain.

The centre-half went off after just 28 minutes of the 2-0 home defeat to Chesterfield last weekend with a hamstring injury.

Luke Wilkinson wins a header.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Speaking on Thursday, Sarll said: “I think it is a run of the mill (hamstring strain), we are just looking for a little bit of clarity from the specialist about time spans.

“It looks to be very similar to what Lee Collins had in his spell with us but recovery times differ.

“(Luke) definitely will not be available for Saturday. I wish I could say it is going to be four weeks, three weeks, two weeks, but I just don’t know right now.

Following the defeat last weekend, the manager said he may have to look to recruit to plug the void left by Wilkinson – however, it sounds like he may have to go with what he has in his paper-thin squad.

Morgan Williams and Max Hunt both played in the Somerset Premier Cup tie against Bridgwater United in midweek and Sarll indicated that Josh Staunton could be an option to drop back from the midfield role he has adopted so far this term.

The boss said he would like to recruit “three or four” players with Football League experience, but said the situation around COVID-19 meant it was difficult to convince clubs to let players out on loan.

He said: “Centre halves are at a premium and when I have gone in to the market at the moment, a lot of Football League clubs are petrified of COVID.

“Therefore letting players out on loan where they could find themselves in a situation where two or three players have COVID, they are potentially leaving themselves short.

“So quite a few managers at the moment are looking at self-preservation and keeping everyone around.

“The most important thing when we’re trying to recruit is trying to get experience, someone who has Football League experience.

“In my time here, we are at the mercy of what is available and what we can afford, so it is a bit of a chancer’s market at the moment.

“You’ve got to be ready to strike and if there’s something out there and something that will benefit us then I think we’ll do that.”

“We’ve got a brilliant guy in Josh Staunton whose trade is in the centre of defence, so we have that option – but there’s so many ifs, buts and maybes you just have to be ready to strike when the iron’s hot.

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