WITTON Albion expect that Anthony Gardner will miss their Christmas fixtures with an ankle injury he picked on during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Shaw Lane.

The full-back limped off early in the second-half following a tackle by an opponent, and severe bruising prevented an initial diagnosis.

Manager Carl Macauley has told the Guardian he is planning to be without the 26-year-old for the next month.

“I spoke to Anthony late on Sunday and it’s not looking good,” he added.

“He’s disappointed, and it was a bad one from their player who didn’t even receive a caution.

“It’s a huge blow for us, particularly when we’re also missing other senior players.

Captain Anthony Brown returned to training before the weekend, although he is unlikely to be risked for Saturday’s trip to Sutton Coldfield Town.

The Royals play on an unforgiving artificial surface, and Macauley is reluctant to test the defender’s recovery from a knee injury there.

Albion will also be without Paul Williams until the middle of next month after he damaged a ligament in his knee during a 3-2 defeat against Grantham earlier this month.