HOPES that Wrexham would soon be back to full strength have been dashed by fresh problems for strikers Neil Roberts, Juan Ugarte and Lee McEvilly.
All three, who had been pencilled in to play a friendly against Macclesfield reserves today, will be missing, with club captain Roberts instead visiting a specialist for investigation of a recurring ankle injury.
Manager Denis Smith said: "Neil trained all last week, played for half an hour against Boston last Saturday and even did some running afterwards without any problems or pain.
"But his ankle has swollen up again, which is extremely worrying for both him and for us, because there doesn’t seem to be any cause for it.
"On top of that Juan Ugarte is having problems with a strained hamstring and Lee McEvilly, who went down with a chest infection last week, isn’t in any condition to play a game at the moment."
To make matters worse, on-loan striker Kevin Smith, who is being treated for a knee injury sustained last Saturday, is rated doubtful for this weekend’s clash with League Two leaders Walsall at the Racecourse and the Dragons boss is wary of involving too many senior professionals in today’s game for fear of further injuries.
"As things stand, Chris Llewellyn is the only fit senior striker we have got, so we are back in the mire again," the Dragons boss added.
"A week ago I was feeling very optimistic that I would soon have everyone available, but instead I will be scratching my head to try and put together a team for Saturday."
With midfielder Mark Jones seemingly sidelined for some weeks by a knee injury and central defender Steve Evans beginning a four-match ban this weekend, Smith confirmed he would be looking to strengthen his squad when the transfer window re-opens in January.
Although Racecourse gate receipts have dipped in line with Wrexham’s lowly league position, the club’s relative success in reaching the second round of the Carling Cup and the third round of the FA Cup means some money is available for loan signings.
"We are not rolling in money and we haven’t been a buying club for a long time," Smith said.
"Nevertheless, I’m looking to strengthen the squad, but if you are asking ‘can I get the players I want at the moment’ the answer is no.
"Our position in the league doesn’t help as far as that is concerned and the bottom line is that I would simply love to have every member of my current squad available.
"But we are always looking at players from other clubs and that will continue to be the case," he added.
Evans is a definite starter this morning and Smith could also give run-outs to left-back Ryan Valentine, midfielder Matt Crowell and winger Matty Done, who are all short of match practice.
Meanwhile, Wrexham have re-arranged a Pontins League reserve-team match with Manchester City. The game will now be played at Buckley Town next Tuesday (7pm).