MARCH Town skipper Luke Pepper is to have an operation on his knee later this month and will miss the first two months of the season.
Pepper has not played for five months and received news of his scan this week.
He said: “I have a tear in the cartilage and have strained my medial ligaments.
“I am hoping to have keyhole surgery in the next four weeks and we will see how long it takes to recover then. But I would like to think I will be playing again by the end of September.
“I am doing the running in the pre-season training at the moment to try and get myself fitter after a a long break. At least I know what the problem is now which is a big help.”
Pepper’s absence is a big blow to March manager Brett Whaley who said: “There was always the danger that Luke would miss the start of the season but it will give us a big boost when he returns.”
It has not been a good week for Whaley with defender Lee Day likely to join Deeping, Kyle Plumb off to Fakenham and Marc Welcher deciding to switch to rugby this season.
Whaley commented: “We will just have to see what happens with Lee. There is still a chance he could be back. It is a blow to lose Marc, but he feels he wants to take a year out from football.”
But Whaley is hopeful that Wisbech Town defender Lewis Cook may return to the GER this season and two more Ramsey players are set to join the club with Gav Cook and Andy Waite taking the tally to seven from Whaley’s former club.
Defender Michael Anker has also started training with the club after taking a year out of the game.
March had their first three training sessions last week and Whaley reported: “We had around 20 players down for last Thursday and it has been going really well so far. There were a few aches and pains but they will benefit from it in the weeks to come.”
March play the first friendly on July 16 with a double header against UCL club Blackstones.