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Gillingham midfielder Stuart O'Keefe could be out for the season with injury against Coventry City


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Gillingham boss Steve Evans fears he could be without midfielder Stuart O’Keefe for the rest of the season.

O’Keefe was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after a challenge from Coventry City’s Amadou Bakayoko in the first half of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie.

Stuart O'Keefe is challenged by Amadou Bakayoko Picture: Barry Goodwin
Stuart O'Keefe is challenged by Amadou Bakayoko Picture: Barry Goodwin

Evans’ side went onto win the game but the manager has now lost vice-captain O’Keefe and captain Kyle Dempsey to injury in successive games. Dempsey is expected to be out for six weeks with ankle ligament damage.

“It’s a been a bad few days for us,” said Evans.

“We have lost Kyle Dempsey and Stuart O’Keefe who are a partnership, captain and vice captain. It looks like we could have one away for six weeks and if it is bad as what the doctor possibly fear, it could be a season (for O’Keefe).

“We think it is broken, that is what the doctor thinks, but we won’t know that until it is x-rayed and scanned. I knew he was in trouble straight away. In an empty stadium we could hear the kid and he was in terrible pain and on oxygen as he left the stadium.

Stuart O'Keefe is stretchered off with a suspected fracture Picture: Barry Goodwin
Stuart O'Keefe is stretchered off with a suspected fracture Picture: Barry Goodwin

“The initial assessment from the doctors is that it’s broken, it was a naughty challenge. I have looked it back on the screen and it is really naughty.

“In fairness to the kid he is not normally like that, I don’t think he has a bad bone in his body, but it was a horrendous challenge but I don’t look at the player, I look at the referee as to why he has not taken the appropriate action." Bakayoko was booked for the foul.

“It was a poor challenge at the time from my eyesight," Evans continued. "I thought it could be a red. I was disappointed with the yellow, but you understand. I didn’t understand it when we saw it on the big screen at half-time.

“But life is a mystery, the referee can get miss-sighted but then we all know in the second half that the same player should have gone for a bad challenge on Connor Ogilvie.”

Dempsey picked up his injury in the weekend league game against Hull City , landing awkwardly after challenging for the ball.

The Gills will also be hoping fellow midfielder Scott Robertson, on loan from Celtic, recovers from a knee to the back. He was being treated by the physio after the match.

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