Devastating blow for Diamonds as Ashton faces spell on the sidelines

AFC Rushden & Diamonds defender Jack Ashton is facing time on the sidelines with a knee injury

AFC Rushden & Diamonds defender Jack Ashton is facing time on the sidelines with a knee injury

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Andy Peaks has described the news that defender Jack Ashton is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines as “a massive blow” for AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

The centre-half, who can also play at full-back, completed a three-match ban during last weekend’s FA Cup success over Ashton United.

But the Diamonds boss has now confirmed that Ashton could possibly be facing an operation on a knee injury.

Ashton has been one of the mainstays during Diamonds’ recent successes.

And Peaks, who is preparing his team for this weekend’s Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central clash with Potters Bar Town at the Dog & Duck, said: “He has had a scan and now he will need to go and see a specialist tomorrow (Friday) to see what the full extent of the injury is.

“It looks like it could be his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) but either way, it means he is going to be out for the foreseeable future and he may need an operation. It is a massive blow for him and us.

“He has been the heartbeat for me since he first came here. He has played in virtually every game and he is one of those lads who will always dig deep for the cause.

“We will support him as best we can and it will be up to the other defenders to ensure we stay solid without him.”

Peaks also confirmed Steve Spriggs is facing more time on the sidelines due to a knee injury but there was some positive news on the fitness of winger Claudiu Hoban.

“Claudiu is a lot better and he does have a chance for this weekend,” Peaks added.

“We have probably lacked a bit of width over the past few games and with him coming back as well as Elliott Lamb-Johnson, who will be back for the Barwell game, it will give us a couple of further options.”