NATIONWIDE Conference leaders Chester City received a setback last night when it was confirmed that England National Game XI goal-keeper Wayne Brown has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season.
The 27-year-old shotstopper, who broke a bone in his foot in training just before Christmas, was originally informed that the injury would rule him out of action for between six to eight weeks, but the problem hasn't cleared up properly and it will now require further surgical treatment.
"This latest news is a set-back, but we will just have to weigh up our options and take a decision in the next day or so," said City chairman Stephen Vaughan.
Everton came to Chester's rescue when they loaned them their highly-rated young Scottish keeper Iain Turner last month, but Turner's one-month temporary transfer ends officially on Sunday.
They must now decide whether to approach the Blues for an extension of the loan or bring in a replacement goalkeeper on a short-term contract.
"Wayne's latest setback is a blow to us, but we will just have to professionally evaluate the situation and decide on a solution," reflected Vaughan.
If Turner is to return to Goodison Park, he will play his last game for Chester this Saturday, when City face Burton Albion at the Deva Stadium.
Meanwhile, Chester have re-arranged their home league match against Aldershot Town. The game, which should have been played on Saturday March 27, has been moved because the Southerners are still involved in the FA Trophy.