Lowestoft midfielder out for the rest of the season
Dale Cockrill's knee surgery has been hailed a success – but the Lowestoft Town midfielder's rehabilitation process means he will miss the rest of the campaign.
Cockrill's career has been ravaged by injury for the past two seasons but hopes a second operation to repair damaged knee cartilage will finally get him back in a Blues shirt.
However, joint boss Ady Gallagher admitted this week the Blues management don't expect the 33-year-old to start his comeback until next season.
'Dale has had his operation – he is still on crutches but the operation went well and he is confident they managed to repair the damage to this knee this time,' said Gallagher, who will also have to do without star striker Jack Defty for the rest of the campaign as he recovers from a broken leg. 'He is unlikely to be available for the rest of the season but we look forward to welcoming him back next season.
'It's been a frustrating for him but there looks to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for him.'
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After finishing last year with a flourish, taking maximum points from their three games over the Christmas period, Lowestoft have endured a frustrating start to 2014, seeing fixtures against Bognor Regis and Billericay Town postponed due to waterlogged pitches.
It has at least given a few aching limbs a chance to recover ahead of this weekend's trip to Harrow Borough with Andrew Fisk and Jake Reed recovering from ankle injuries.
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Gallagher admits whether or not the squad steers clear of injuries for the rest of the season will have a massive bearing on whether Lowestoft can once again challenge for promotion.
'The hope is this year to get some consistency and we want to be lucky as well in terms of injuries,' he said. 'If we stay injury free and continue to play like we have been then we have got a great chance of being up there.
'We always back ourselves against anyone in this division but my wish for this year would be that we have a fit and available squad to choose from. If we can get that then I know we can be successful.'