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Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 12:38 UK

Vernon heads back to Colchester

Scott Vernon
Vernon signed on a month's loan from Colchester

Gillingham have sent striker Scott Vernon back to parent club Colchester after he suffered an ankle injury 41 minutes into on his Gills debut.

Vernon was injured in the 2-0 defeat at MK Dons and is out for three months.

Gills boss Mark Stimson told BBC Radio Kent: "The lad's devastated and obviously it's not helped us because we looked forward to working with him.

"When you see the lad leave the ground on crutches and the ankle quite swollen, you always fear the worse."

"Unfortunately the injuries we're picking up this season seem to be long term rather than short term."

We're getting close to the weekend so it might not happen now but it won't be for the lack of trying

Mark Stimson on looking for a new striker

The Gillingham manager revealed there is some money available to bring in a replacement for Vernon, but options are limited within their budget.

"We've got some finances but there's not a great deal of players out there in our bracket," he said.

"It's a matter of making phone call after phone call and trying to make something happen. We are light on numbers and we're trying our best, but sometimes it's about the finances and what we can pay and what players are available."

But he thinks it is unlikely a new forward will be in place in time for Saturday's League One derby against Charlton at Priestfield.

"We're getting close to the weekend so it might not happen now but it won't be for the lack of trying," he said.

"A lot of teams are keeping their players up front because they're the ones that can win you games.

"Some teams keep hold of them even if they're not subs, just in case one of their strikers gets injured.

"I understand that, but it's frustrated because we really do need a bit more help up the top end of the pitch to help (Simeon) Jackson."

We just hope we can have a clear three-month spell where we don't pick up any serious injuries

Mark Stimson

The Gills have been blighted by injury since their influential defender Simon King sustained ankle ligament damage during pre-season, and Stimson feels no-one is immune to their injury curse.

"It's a crazy one because on Monday at the training ground we have some supporters who come along every so often and they'll collect the balls and do odds and ends," he said.

"Even one of those people kicked a ball, fell over, broke his ankle and ended up having to have an operation on Tuesday morning.

"We wish that guy, Bruce, all the best and we just hope we can have a clear three-month spell where we don't pick up any serious injuries, because they don't help us at all."



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