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Daggers hit by injuries as new season looms

PUBLISHED: 16:05 15 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:05 15 July 2013

Dagenham & Redbridge's Luke Wilkinson. Pic: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Dagenham & Redbridge's Luke Wilkinson. Pic: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

Players already on the treatment table before the season begins.

The 2013-14 season is under a month away, but Daggers’ hopes have already been dented with several first team players already on the treatment table.

Both player of the year Luke Wilkinson and midfielder Matt Saunders have picked up groin and foot injuries respectively since coming back for pre-season training.

And manager Wayne Burnett insisted both could miss the start of the season in a far from ideal scenario as he starts his first full season at the Daggers helm.

“Luke will see a specialist at the end of the week and hopefully there is some progress made there,” said Burnett.

“Matt Saunders is another and we are hopeful he can get back to pre-season training soon, it is extremely frustrating in both cases but we have just got to deal with it as best we can. Not having a full pre-season behind them isn’t ideal.”

Billy Bingham and Gianluca Gracco are also on the sidelines, though their return is expected to be sooner rather than later after picking up knocks before the Daggers returned for pre-season.

“We are hopeful Billy will be back in training next week and it’s a similar story with Gianluca,” he added.

Former Dagger Dwight Gayle completed a move to Crystal Palace last week, for a reported £6million, with the Victoria Road side set to profit off of a 20 per cent sell-on clause when the striker left for Peterborough.

And after early discussions with the board, Burnett revealed the club have increased their wage budget, though no money is available for transfer fees.

“I have had preliminary talks with the board and we haven’t gone into too much detail and while there has been no money made available for transfers, there has been an increase in the wages available,” he added.

“At this stage there are plenty of decent players still available on free transfers and that’s what will continue to look at.”


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