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Readings injury big blow for whites

DOVER Athletic manager Richard Langley is having to come to terms with the probable loss of young central defender Dean Readings for the rest of the season.

Readings, who has performed so capably since breaking into the first team at the start of last season, broke his ankle after a crude second-half challenge by Grantham striker Dale Watkins during Saturday’s 2-0 home victory.

Langley said: “It’s really unlucky for Dean because it was his first start for a few weeks and he had to have four stitches in a cut over his eye at half-time and then broke his ankle.

“The hospital have confirmed that it is a break and it will be a couple of months before he can resume training, which probably means he won’t play for the first team again this season.”

Simon Glover is also ruled out until early in the New Year with a broken wrist, but Readings’s loss should be offset to some extent by the imminent return of Nicky Humphreys, whose rehabilitation from long-term injury continues in the Reserves’ home game against Dartford on Saturday (3pm).

“Nicky could break into the first-team squad at some stage over the Christmas period,” said Langley, who also has reserve goalkeeper Dave Wietecha available again after injury.

Five wins in row, with only one goal conceded, have lifted pre-Christmas spirits at the Hoverspeed Stadium, and Langley is delighted that he has been able to extend the loan spells of both Jimmy Jackson and Andy Crofts for another month.

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