Doherty, Bell double blow

PUBLISHED: 10:13 29 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

City defender Gary Doherty will be out of action for three months with an ankle injury.

The shock news has forced manager Glenn Roeder to look for yet another centre-half.

City defender Gary Doherty will be out of action for three months with an ankle injury.

The shock news has forced manager Glenn Roeder to look for yet another centre-half.

Doherty hobbled off at the end of City's 2-1 victory over Ahlafors IF in Sweden 10 days ago, and the injury is worse than feared. The 28-year-old has already had an operation.

Roeder also revealed that new signing David Bell is out for the next three to four weeks with an injury he picked up before he moved from Luton.

Doherty had a scan on his return from Scandinavia and Roeder said: “It's bad news. The scan revealed more serious damage than we thought. He had an operation, an arthroscopy where they go in, clean up the mess that is in his ankle and make sure it's all clean and tidy.

“But he will not play football for three months, which is really bad news, because he's just signed a new contract and that brings us down to three centre-backs - and I want four.”

Jason Shackell and new signings John Kennedy and Dejan Stefanovic provide three options but Roeder said: “We need another centre-back now and I'm working on bringing another one in before the window closes to make four, the way we will have four strikers come the window closing. We need competition in all places, in all areas of the pitch.”

Midfielder Bell, admitted Roeder, arrived with an ankle injury.

“Bell we signed injured. He will possibly be out for three or four weeks. We knew that when we signed him,” said Roeder. “We know when he's fully fit, he'll add a lot to the team.

“We knew that if we didn't sign him we could have lost him to another Championship side that has just come down, so we decided to move a bit quicker to be sure we secured his signature, but he got injured a week before he came to us in a training session at Luton. It has caused a problem with his ankle but in three or four weeks, he should be back to full training. But the main thing is we've got his signature.”

Kennedy, meanwhile, should face Colchester on Saturday after joining on loan from Celtic for the first half of the season.

“We're hoping his international clearance will come through before Saturday so he can play a part. It's all done and dusted. He's our player.

“I've met him twice now and he's a big physical presence and if anyone deserves any luck, not to pick up any more injuries, it's John Kennedy because he's had more than his fair share. But he's played well for Motherwell, he's pretty fit and we need him to play part of the game on Saturday.”

Goalkeeper Stuart Nelson, an unused substitute last night, will play against King's Lynn in tonight's friendly at The Walks (7.45pm).

Said Roeder: “We'll look at him against King's Lynn. He's in there punching for a contract. He hasn't let himself down. Tommy Wright's quite impressed with him. We'll give Stuart a decision after the Colchester game.”

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