MORECAMBE’S top scorer Kevin Ellison may miss the rest of the season.
Ellison, who has scored 17 goals this season, is set to be ruled out of the final three games with a recurrence of the niggling back injury that has been troubling him for some weeks.
He is also set to be joined on the sidelines for the remainder of the campaign by defender Nick Fenton and midfielder Stewart Drummond, with the latter suffering a spell in hospital last week after having his appendix removed.
The injuries are a blow to boss Jim Bentley whose squad is down to the bare bones for the trip to Rotherham on Saturday.
Bentley said: “I feel for Kevin because he really wanted to reach the 20-goal mark this season and if he had played all season I’m sure he would have managed it.
“He missed pre-season this year because of injury and I don’t want that to happen again so there is no point risking him over the next couple of weeks if we don’t have to so he can hit the ground running when we come back for next season.
“It’s a similar story with Nick Fenton because he has been having a few problems and again there is no point risking him before the end of the season. Stewart has been really poorly and will take some time to recover.
“Although it is disappointing to see three experienced players out of action it does mean the door opens for a few other players to show me what they can do.”
With Andy Fleming and Laurence Wilson already ruled out for the season the Shrimps’ boss says he is wrapping his remaining squad players in cotton wool this week.
Training on Monday consisted of a brisk run down Morecambe Promenade and a meal at Frankie and Benny’s before making their way back to the Globe Arena.
Bentley said: “We can’t really afford to pick up many more injuries so it wouldn’t be too wise this week to have full-blooded training games just in case. We will make sure we keep everyone ticking over but look after them as well ahead of the weekend.”
The Shrimps’ boss admits he has one eye on next season already and says he knows where he needs to improve. One area he is unsure of though, is left back with talks still on-going with Laurence Wilson who has yet to agree the deal he has been offered.
He said: “Laurence was offered a deal some time ago but is still to come back to us so we will have to keep an eye on that situation and see where it goes in the next few weeks.”