Clarke faces time out

MIDFIELDER TO MISS TWO MONTHS FOL­LOW­ING OP­ER­A­TION

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

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).

Pic­ture: Re­becca Hol­l­i­day FM4010577

Fox Sun­day (green) chal­lenge Prince Al­bert dur­ing their Di­vi­sion 2 match in the Ash­ford & Dis­trict Sun­day League. More pic­tures and league roundup, page 67

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