TRANMERE will be waiting anxiously this week for the full diagnosis on the knee injury threatening to sideline influential skipper James Wallace.
Manager Ronnie Moore and his staff fear Wallace sustained medial ligament damage when stretching into a challenge 10 minutes into Saturday’s FA Cup win over Chesterfield at Prenton Park.
However, Rovers won’t know the extent of the problem until the swelling settles down.
Moore said: “We have got to think it’s medial ligaments. It is too early to say how bad it is but he certainly he won’t be playing for two to three weeks, maybe two or three months.
“We will have to wait for the swelling to go down before we know.”
Wallace sustained the injury when stretching into a challenge near the halfway line. Moore said: “It was daft really. He overran the ball and carried an and got the block tackle in. He knew right away that he done something and it put a dampener on a good result for us.
“I just hope we only lose James for a couple of weeks because we cannot afford to be without players of his quality for too long.”
Tranmere have already lost striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and winger Abdulai Bell-Baggie to long-term injuries this season and face the prospect of losing leading goalscorer Jake Cassidy and midfielder Liam Palmer when their loan spells, from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday respectively, expire in early January.
Moore said: “Wallace is such a clever player. He should be in the Championship at least and hopefully he’ll be doing that with us next season. He is quality and we will miss him - and that’s no disrespect to the other players we have here.”
Tranmere’s reward for a hard-fought victory over the Spireites is a third round tie against mid-table Championship side Derby County at Pride Park on Saturday, January 5.
Moore had the consolation of seeing teenage striking prospect Cole Stockton notch his fourth goal of the season to put Rovers level just before half-time against Chesterfield. The League One leaders then won the second round tie thanks to a 57th minute strike from Adam McGurk, set up by a fine piece of individual play from striker Michael O’Halloran.
“Michael is going to be a threat,” Moore said of the 21-year-old Glaswegian who is on loan from Bolton Wanderers.
“He has great pace. I think his performance was fantastic. He ran the channels and made a great run for Adam’s goal. He is a quality player.”