Gills hit by Richards blow
Injury rules in-form defender out of relegation run-in
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: April 14, 2010 6:21pm
Richards: May need surgery
Gillingham defender Garry Richards has been ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.
The 23-year-old hobbled off early in the second half of Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Millwall after a collision with his own keeper Alan Julian.
And scans have revealed that Richards broke a toe in the incident, along with ankle ligament damage.
Gillingham are still awaiting news on the severity of the ankle injury and Richards could require surgery, leaving him with a summer of rehabilitation.
Richards has been a key performer for the League One strugglers in recent weeks and the news will be a big blow to their survival hopes.
After Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Brighton, the Gills lie three points above the drop zone with four games remaining, although fourth-bottom Tranmere have a game in hand.
"The toe injury keeps him out for the rest of the season and we'll know the results of the ligament damage in the next couple of days," manager Mark Stimson told kentonline.
"It's a terrible blow because he has been playing well and he is what we need. We need men to stand up and be counted."
Gillingham have already been without last year's player-of-the-year Simon King since pre-season because of an ankle injury.