YORK CITY defender Lanre Oyebanjo will be out for about six weeks after suffering a fractured skull.
The 22-year-old was injured during a sickening clash of heads with Gillingham’s Charlie Lee in the second half of the Minstermen’s 1-1 League Two draw at Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.
Former Histon player Oyebanjo was attended to by a doctor on the pitch in the aftermath of the injury, which happened in the 71st minute, but was keen to play on. He managed to carry on for more than ten minutes before bleeding from the ear finally forced him off.
Continuing to feel unwell, he was taken to hospital, x-rayed, and the fracture was discovered.
Manager Gary Mills may now move to strengthen his defence, either before Thursday’s transfer deadline day or subsequently on loan, and described Oyebanjo’s loss as a “massive blow” to the club.
“Obviously Lanre got back in the side on Saturday and the back four were doing extremely well,” he said.
“He was having a really good game, doing his job well, and then that happened. It’s another blow. It’s another defender down for us and obviously with a fractured skull he has got to be careful.
“He played on for quite a while, headed a few balls, but he started getting bleeding from his ear. He came off and later went to the hospital. He’s a strong lad, he competes well and he said he didn’t want to come off.
“Once he did come off, once his ear started bleeding, he looked like he was going to collapse.
“Neither of them should have carried on. The doctor should have stopped them both going back on.”
With Oyebanjo now joining a defensive injury list that also includes Chris Doig (ankle), David McGurk (hamstring) and Jamal Fyfield (ankle ligament), Mills was left dreaming of being able to field a settled back four as City continue to try to hang on to the coat-tails of the League Two play-off race.
“The back four were excellent on Saturday,” he added. “Until Lanre’s injury we were talking about the same back four this weekend. They are saying it could be six weeks for Lanre and it is a blow because he was doing really well.”
Asked whether he would delve into the transfer or loan market to bring in cover, Mills said: “There is a possibility of that.”