Raynor provides Zakuani injury update
Raynor provides Zakuani injury update

Gillingham defender Gabriel Zakuani looks set to miss the start of the season with a reoccurrence of last season’s injury.

Zakuani suffered an ankle ligament injury back in February in a home tie against Barnsley after a clash with striker Kieffer Moore, who was left unconscious and also ruled out for the season.

Gillingham assistant manager Paul Raynor spoke on Zakuani’s progress after Gillingham’s 2-1 victory at Dartford on Tuesday night.

“He’s hopefully going to be stepping up this week. He had a little bit of a setback when he saw the consultant but hopefully (he’ll be fit soon). He’s just had to take a step back so we can move forward again, but obviously we will leave that in the hands of Gary (Hemens) and his superior knowledge in terms of that.”

The Gills captain had previously said he was ahead of schedule and due to be ready for the start of pre-season, but now it seems he won’t be taking part in any of it at all, as well as the first few games of the season.

“Obviously with him missing so much of pre-season now, [the start of the season is] probably going to be a bit of a stretch for him” Raynor added.

“But we have got Max (Ehmer), we have got young Alfie (Jones), we have got Connor (Ogilvie), and young Jack Tucker is stepping up as well. I feel like Jack was excellent again tonight, so we have got four centre halves there and, if the prognosis for Gabs is it’s going to be a little bit longer, we may even look to strengthen that area as well.”

As well as a possible centre back coming in, Raynor wasn’t ruling out anything transfer wise, and admitted he and manager Steve Evans would be happy to strengthen any position if the opportunity arose.

“We are constantly looking. The amount of agents that ring us is absolutely frightening. The amount of clubs that ring us and trying to move their players so they can bring people in – it’s an ongoing process. We will just keep looking and trying to improve and make ourselves better in all areas of the pitch and, if something came up of interest, then we’d look at anything.”