PORTADOWN’S injury crisis has hit another low with news that Ross Redman is facing over a month out of action.
The highly-rated left-back suffered the initial damage during the recent 3-3 draw with Cliftonville at Shamrock Park.
Initial reports suggested severe bruising but no long-term problem, with the player recently returning to training.
However, Redman pulled out of a session and a subsequent MRI scan revealed a stress fracture of the metatarsal.
The prognosis is around six weeks of rest.
Redman’s absence at left-back follows on from the loss of Keith O’Hara to groin trouble, presenting the Ports with another selection issue in the backline.
The Ports recently turned to Jordan Gilmore from the youth squad and Chris Ramsey has also been deployed as an alternative left-back this season.
Ramsey’s additional experience may result in the former Manchester City centre-back lining out at Windsor Park in the position tomorrow (Saturday) against Linfield.
“It is a massive blow for us and the only option open to Ross is complete rest,” said Ports boss, Ronnie McFall. “The MRI scan revealed more than the initial x-ray and it turns out to be a stress fracture.
“Ross’ loss comes on top of long-term injuries already to Keith O’Hara, Tim Mouncey, Matthew Paget and Wesley Boyle.
“Plus we also have Kevin Braniff, Jamie Tomelty and Shane McKinney now out, along with Shane McCabe’s decision to return to the GAA.
“Having a free weekend last Saturday, we now face Linfield and then another trip away to Crusaders on Tuesday.
“It is going to be a real test but we have no other option but to get on with it all.
“Unfortunately, at this stage of the season we do not have any good news to report when it comes to injuries.
“Kevin and Jamie both stayed out of training this week due to, respectively, hamstring and groin problems.
“Kevin is definitely out for the Linfield match and we need to make a late decision on Jamie’s fitness.
“Conor McCloskey’s recent red card for the reserves means he now needs to sit out two games at that level before he can next turn out.
“However, the reserves had one match called off this week and the next scheduled fixture is not until April 13.
“We hope to rearrange a game before that point.
“This weekend’s match marks the start of the final five games and we want to protect second place in the Carling Premiership table.
“Teams will take points off each other at this stage but, as always, we can only look after our own results.”
Kick-off tomorrow (Saturday) will be 3 o’clock, with the Seaview trip scheduled to start on Tuesday at 7.45.