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Gillingham defender Gabriel Zakuani could now miss the start of the season through injury

By Luke Cawdell

Gabriel Zakuani is unlikely to be fit for Gills’ League 1 opener.

Last season’s Gillingham captain suffered ankle ligament damage following a fall against Barnsley in February.

The 33-year-old had hoped to be fit for pre-season but has not featured so far and certainly won’t be ready for this weekend’s matches against Charlton and Millwall.

Gillingham defender Gabriel Zakuani Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham defender Gabriel Zakuani Picture: Ady Kerry

Assistant boss Paul Raynor said: “He had a bit of a setback when he saw the consultant but hopefully he can now step it up.

“He’s had to take a step back so we can move forward again. We will leave that in the hands of Gary (Hemens, the physio) and his superior knowledge.

“This weekend will be far too soon, it was such a nasty injury and he needs to take it slowly and make sure that there are no more setbacks.”

Asked if he would be fit for the start of the season, Raynor was doubtful, saying: “With him missing much of pre-season, that is going to be a bit of a stretch for him.

“But we have Max (Ehmer), young Alfie (Jones), we’ve got Connor (Ogilvie) and young Jack Tucker stepping up and I thought he was excellent again on Tuesday (against Dartford).”

Gabriel Zakuani is treated for an ankle injury against Barnsley and he has yet to recover Picture: Ady Kerry
Gabriel Zakuani is treated for an ankle injury against Barnsley and he has yet to recover Picture: Ady Kerry

If Zakuani’s injury remains a problem, the Gills could look for another addition.

Raynor said: “If the prognosis for Gabs is that it will be a bit longer we may look to strengthen that area.

“We are constantly looking and the amount of agents that ring us is absolutely frightening.”

Right-back Lee Hodson went off at half-time on Tuesday but his injury isn’t long-lasting.

“He was a little dizzy and Gary didn’t want to take any chances,” said Gills’ No.2.

“ It was just a little knock. Hopefully he will be fit and well for the weekend.”

Read more: The latest sports news from Kent

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