THE long-awaited comeback by Wrexham striker Lee McEvilly lasted just 20 minutes yesterday afternoon when he limped out of a reserve team game against Carlisle United's second string.
McEvilly, sidelined since mid-December because of a broken bone in his foot, soon found himself in the wars at Buckley Town's Globe Way ground, although he scored the Dragons' opening goal in a 5-2 defeat.
But shortly after heading an equaliser, the 24-year-old target-man went down under a heavy challenge that left him nursing a deep gash in his knee and a bruised left foot - not the one that sustained the break.
Before going to hospital for a check-up to determine whether stitches were necessary, McEvilly said: "It's very disappointing because I've been itching to get back, but these things happen.
"One of their lads did me after the ball had gone, catching my knee and then stamping on my foot. It's annoying because I was beginning to enjoy myself, even though I'm not generally keen on playing reserve team football."
The new injury means McEvilly is almost certain to be unavailable for Sunday's Racecourse derby against Chester City, but he insisted it was not a major setback.
"I'm not convinced I even need stitches but, in any event, it's only going to be two or three days before I'm back in training," he added.
"I've been working really hard in the last week or so to try and build up my fitness.
"I need to play games now, but it was not worth risking anything else this afternoon and there's a few days to go before we start thinking about Chester.
"It was always going to be an outside chance that I'd be involved on Sunday because I haven't played for three months and now it looks as though I'll have to be patient for a little bit longer."
McEvilly's strike partner Jon Walters scored Wrexham's other goal yesterday, continuing his comeback from a fractured cheekbone, and after two appearances off the bench in the last week, should be involved again on Sunday.
The only major concern for Racecourse boss Denis Smith following Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Cheltenham Town centred on defender Dennis Lawrence, who was forced off during the first half with an ankle injury.
The extent of the problem will be assessed this morning, but physio Mel Pejic is optimistic about the Trinidad international's prospects.
"You can never tell with Dennis," he said.. "One day he looks pretty bad and the next he seems to make a speedy recovery. We will have to let it settle down and see how he is feeling over the next day or two."
Wrexham have issued a reminder that Sunday's noon kick-off is an all-ticket match to everyone other than season ticket-holders.
The club ticket office is open during normal hours until Friday and will also be open on Saturday between 10am and 1pm.
* FORMER Wrexham striker Jake Edwards yesterday signed for Chester on loan, while ex-Kidderminster wing-back Scott Stamps is also set to join.