LUKE Summerfield could miss the start of York City’s SkyBet League Two season with a knee injury.
The summer signing did not feature in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at pre-season friendly hosts St Johnstone due to minor ligament trouble.
City are hoping to put a timescale on midfielder Summerfield’s absence this week but the initial prognosis suggests that he might not be available for the 2014/15 curtain-raiser at Tranmere on Saturday, August 9.
“Luke tweaked his knee ligaments after a ball caught him on the end of his toe in training,” Minstermen chief Nigel Worthington revealed. “He will probably be out two to three weeks, so it will be touch and go whether he starts the season.
“We could do without that and it’s an unfortunate situation but you’ve got to live with it.”
Worthington is hoping to get a clearer idea of the damage to Summerfield’s knee from phyiso Jeff Miller before deciding whether to look for reinforcements.
His injury left City with only 15 senior players in Perth, including first-year pro Cameron Murray, as Summerfield joined Michael Ingham, Dan Parslow, and Wes Fletcher in the stands with Josh Carson left at home as he continues to recover from cruciate ligament damage.
On the possibility of exploring the loan market for cover in the event of Summerfield’s absence, Worthington said: “We will sit tight for now, let everything settle down this week and see what Jeff says about the situation.”
In the meantime, Worthington wants Lewis Montrose and Tom Platt to press their claims for a spot in City’s engine room alongside skipper Russell Penn, adding: “We have a squad and it’s always up to people to show they want to be in that starting XI and nail a place down.”
City’s players, meanwhile, can expect shooting practice drills this week after failing to take a hatful of chances during Saturday’s stalemate against the Saints.
Michael Coulson, Jake Hyde, Lindon Meikle, Anthony Straker and Keith Lowe all had great opportunities for the visitors with Worthington stressing: “The game was an excellent exercise and there was a lot of good football played.
“The only thing you could fault really was the finishing. We had two clear-cut chances for Couls and Jake that should have been goals, so we have got to keep working on those little bits like making sure we put the ball in the net when it drops to us.
“Steve (Torpey) and I have decided that will be one of the next coaching points because we need quick play in and around the box. There was some good stuff but you have to finish it all off.
“We missed three or four chances and it only takes one at the other end for you to lose a game, but we will be working on that now. You have got to have that sharpness and guile to make sure the ball goes in the net.”
City have now completed half of their pre-season programme with Saturday’s draw following a 2-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and last Tuesday’s 4-0 win in Raith.
Premier League Hull City now visit Bootham Crescent on Wednesday, followed by Nottingham Forest a week later and final friendly visitors Sheffield United on Saturday, August 2.
On his players’ efforts, so far, Worthington said: “I was very pleased with the first two weeks in terms of the fitness work done.
“We have then had three games in a week and I think the work ethic and quality has got better and better. It’s just about the little things now to make sure we are ready for Tranmere on August 9.”
Hull will represent a big step up in terms of opposition for the Minstermen with the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Tom Ince and Nikica Jelavic in the Humbersiders’ ranks.
“It will be a really good test,” Worthington admitted. “They have got top-class players from the Premier League who cost millions of pounds, but we have got to go and enjoy the occasion and make sure we do things right and, whatever happens then, so be it, as long as we get what we want out of the match in terms of our fitness, shape and the ability to look after ourselves.”
City are hoping that Ingham could be available for selection against the Tigers after sitting out the two games in Scotland with a groin problem.
“He did a bit of handing work in training and before Saturday’s game but he wasn’t ready to kick the ball,” Worthington explained. “Hopefully, he should be nearly there this week.”