Morecambe defender Ryan Edwards could miss the first two months of the season after having surgery on a finger injury.
The 20-year-old suffered a multiple fracture of his PIP (Proximal Inter Phalangeal) joint of his left ring finger during Tuesday’s friendly with Burscough.
After medical advice the former Blackburn Rovers youngster underwent surgery on Thursday.
It represents a bitter blow for the towering central defender who was hoping to impress at the Globe Arena after signing on a permanent deal having had a successful loan spell last season.
Boss Jim Bentley said: “It’s disappointing because slowly but surely since the first day back he’s been getting fitter and stronger.
“Over the past two or three performances he’s been excellent and he’s been very professional in everything he’s been doing, then for this to happen 10 days before the start of the season, it’s a hammer blow for him and us.”
Physio Simon Farnworth said: “It looked like quite an innocuous injury at the time but on further examination, Ryan had multiple fractures around the joint and had to go to hospital.
“The surgeon reported that it was a particularly nasty injury and obviously from Ryan’s point of view it’s a disappointing time to pick up such an injury.”