Clarke faces time out
MIDFIELDER TO MISS TWO MONTHS FOLLOWING OPERATION
Ashford United’s Gary Clarke will be out for at least two months after being told he needs surgery to fix an abdominal problem.
The 29-year-old midfielder had been due to have the operation today (Thursday) in a London hospital but has now postponed it until early next month.
Clarke has been troubled by the problem since February but played through it before consulting a specialist and having an injection.
He was a surprise inclusion in the side for the opening game at Hollands & Blair in August but said: “I was still suffering symptoms from the first tear so had another scan which showed up a second one.
“I have been lucky with injuries since coming back to the club in 2013 and it’s a surreal experience and one which I am not enjoying.”
The United squad, without a game at the weekend and on Tuesday, trained twice on the new 3G pitch at Homelands ahead of their first Southern Counties East League game on it against Erith Town on Saturday.
Boss Danny Lye said: “We are looking forward to playing on it.
“The owner (Don Crosbie) has worked hard to get it completed, having financially backed the project himself and suffered a few negative vibes as well.”
He added: “It will help the way we play but it’s how quickly we adapt to it. We have worked on plenty of shooting practice, keep-ball and getting a feel of the new surface.”
Micky Phillips (groin) and assistant manager Shaun Welford are set to return at the weekend. Gary Mickelborough is also fit after an Achilles problem. Gibraltar international Jamie Bosio could start his first game, while two other new signings Ryan Palmer and Louis Sprosen could also figure.
United are at home to Lordswood on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Fox Sunday (green) challenge Prince Albert during their Division 2 match in the Ashford & District Sunday League. More pictures and league roundup, page 67