Stockport County manager James Gannon has moved quickly to strengthen his squad, bringing in left-back Max Cartwright following injuries to Scott Duxbury and Adam Etches.
The 20-year-old defender was released by Fleetwood Town at the end of last season and joins the Hatters following a brief spell with FC United of Manchester.
He played against County last November during a loan spell with Chorley, featuring in their 3-1 win at Edgeley Park.
He previously played for the Magpies during their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League title-winning campaign in 2013/14 and enjoyed a loan spell with Southport in the National League last season.
The new signing comes in the wake of a serious injury to attacking midfielder Adam Etches, who dislocated his ankle and broke his calf bone following a poor challenge whilst playing for County’s under-19s this week.
The manager also has to cover for the enforced absence of Scott Duxbury, who was stretchered off with a head injury during the home clash with AFC Fylde on Tuesday night and will be out for at least a fortnight.
Eighteen-year-old Etches, who made his debut for Gannon’s first-team in the final game of last season against Curzon Ashton, faces up to six months out of action.
With Adam Thomas and Ryan Ellison also facing extended spells on the sidelines, the manager was keen to add depth to his squad.
Gannon said: “On Wednesday afternoon following another really bad challenge, unfortunately Adam Etches dislocated his ankle and fractured his fibula, so that poor young lad’s going to be out for the best part of this season, and he’s another player that would have benefited from being on the bench tomorrow. But we’ve lost him, so we’ve recalled Craig Carney and George West, as well as registering four young players from the Academy to make sure we have enough bodies.”
The manager also registered four of Alan Lord’s highly-rated academy players to provide additional cover – they include midfielders Jordan Peach and Alex Jackson, full-back Liam O’Brien and 6`4” centre-half Jordan Downing, who captains the under-19s.