Horsham striker Terry Dodd faces an agonising wait to find out the extent of his knee injury.
The frontman went down in a huge amount of pain under a challenge in the Hornets’ lacklustre FA Trophy exit to Romford.
He required lengthy treatment on the pitch before being stretchered off and taken to hospital via an ambulance where doctors confirmed there was no break.
His kneecap was dislocated before popping back into place, but fears of ligament damage cannot be assessed until the swelling has reduced.
He has been signed off work for two weeks ahead of returning to hospital on November 11.
Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola does not expect to see his star striker back before the new year whatever the outcome. He said: “It a bad one, it looked bad at the time, the pain he was in probably came from that dislocation. He’s not really one to stay down. I really feel for him.
“He is self employed so there are the consequences of being off work, but I have told him to have the time off.
“If he goes back trying to put weight on it and something is not right, there won’t be just football damage, there will be normal damage.
“He has not got going this season after being very ill in pre-season with a virus, he has never got fully fit.
“Personally, I feel for him, then from a team point of view, it is another blow in a season where there have been lots and lots of blows.”
While the club are always looking to strengthen, they haven’t targeted a specific replacement for Dodd - but are ready to hand youngster Ollie Gill a run in the side.
Di Paola added: “We are always looking, nothing pushes you to go out and look, but down to finances there aren’t a huge amount in our price bracket.
“Obviously there is a concern as he is our only out-and-out centre-forward. Darren Boswell is back after this week and Ollie Gill is almost there fitness wise.
“Three times he has been in the starting line-up, but had injury problems. We want to give him a chance as he deserves one. He has a good attitude and good commitment, he has not upped and left because he is sat on the bench and I rate him.”
Horsham host Faversham on Saturday and Di Paola said: “It’s a tough game. They are very physical and will make it hard for us. It’s the start of a hard run.”
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