Port Vale FC say that regular left-back Adam Crookes could be missing for several weeks with a thigh injury.
Crookes has missed the Valiants’ last two games with the injury which has seen winger Cristian Montano stand in as left-back. The defender picked up the injury during training and has been sent for a scan to ascertain the extend of the damage. The Valiants are still awaiting the test results but are hoping it does not reveal any serious injury.
Crookes, a summer signing from Nottingham Forest, started the season as first-choice left-back but with young left-back Ryan Campbell-Gordon on loan at Ilkeston Town, there is no clear defensive cover for the 22 year-old left-sided defender.
Vale will continue to use Montano in that position in the meantime. The winger was used as an attacking left-back under previous Port Vale manager Neil Aspin and now looks likely to reprise that role – at least until Crookes regains match fitness.
Valiants manager John Askey has praised Montano for his efforts out of position telling the Sentinel newspaper: “Monty’s come in and done really well and hopefully he’ll continue to do that, but they are the only two naturally left-footed in the squad so it is a blow.
“The two games that he’s played we’ve only conceded one, and that was a dubious penalty, so on the defensive side he’s done well.
“And when he plays he provides a bit more of an attacking option as well with his pace, and as he showed against Bradford’s right winger, he’s very difficult to beat as well.
“He’s slotted in there well and we hope that continues.”