AFC Fylde have been dealt a huge injury blow with the news that defender Josh Langley could miss the remainder of the season.
Following a scan on Thursday afternoon, Langley was given the devastating news that he could face up to nine months on the sidelines.
The Coasters captain ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on Tuesday evening in a tangle with Maidenhead United frontman Dave Tarpey – an incident which led to a penalty and Langley’s dismissal.
The news leaves manager Dave Challinor with just two recognised centre-halves in Jordan Tunnicliffe and Simon Grand and the Coasters boss sympathises with his captain.
Challinor said: “Josh’s injury is a lot worse than first feared and he will potentially miss the rest of the season.
“Any injury like that is very disappointing and when it happens you don’t primarily worry about the team, it’s more about the player’s welfare and getting his rehab started as soon as possible.
“Josh is understandably gutted after playing such a big role in getting us into this division in the first place, so for him to miss it all is a blow for him and the team as a whole.
“There is a long road to recovery ahead for Josh and we will help him in any way that we can.”
Fylde have conceded ten goals in their opening four National League matches and Challinor admits the need for cover at the back is now even more necessary.
Challinor added: “We have a new-look defence this season and they will take time to gel and settle. We were looking at bringing in additional players in that position anyway, but this emphasises the need for defensive cover more than ever.
“That said we need the right personnel, so we won’t be rushing into anything.”
Fylde physiotherapist Sean Riley has been in close contact with Langley since the injury and explained: “The first step for Josh is to get his head around what has happened. We spoke on Thursday evening and he still needs to come to terms with it because it is a huge blow to him.
“We have spoken to consultant in Oswestry and we are going to see him in a week or so with a view to booking a date for the ACL reconstruction surgery.
“The surgery will likely be between four to five weeks away. After a major trauma, his knee needs time to settle before he can undergo another trauma with the surgery.
“We have to reduce the swelling, increase his range of movement and the bending of his knee. He’s very stiff and sore at the moment. We will then work on the lower body to maintain muscle strength ahead of surgery.
“After the operation Josh will have a week at home whilst everything settles down and then he will come in and start building up his movement for between ten days and six weeks.
“Then it’s just a matter of progressing through simple strength exercises and balance before introducing cardio vascular work.
“This is the 28th ACL injury I have worked with during my 22-year career, so I’m very comfortable with it and hopefully we can get Josh back to full fitness as soon as possible.”