WREXHAM midfielder Matt Crowell will miss the start of the season after picking up an ankle injury in training.
The 20-year-old, who sat out the Dragons' friendly against Stoke City on Tuesday, underwent surgery on the problem yesterday.
Although manager Denis Smith last night refused to speculate on exactly how long the Wales under-21 international would be out for, he said he would not play for at least four weeks.
"I think we're looking at about a month - minimum,," admitted Smith. "It looks like he's flaked a bit of bone off his ankle but we'll know more after the operation.
"The problem is that he'll now miss the rest of our pre-season so he'll be a long way behind the other lads."
On a more positive note, striker Chris Armstrong is expected to resume training today after recovering from a back injury and Craig Morgan should end the uncertainty over his future by penning a new contract tomorrow.
Morgan has spent the summer stalling on Wrexham's offer, with Smith last week accusing the 19-year-old of "playing games" with the club after he branded the deal "unfair".
However, the pair have patched up their differences and Morgan will join the Dragons for the Isle of Man tournament, which starts on Sunday.
Armstrong missed the 1-1 draw with Stoke on Tuesday after suffering a back spasm. But he was involved in light training yesterday and will step up his fitness work this morning.
* ONLY a few tickets remain for Wrexham's friendly with Liverpool on Wednesday. Gate receipts have broken the £150,000 barrier and surpassed the previous best set in the 2002 League Cup tie with Everton.