National League round-up: Chesterfield top scorer ruled out for 10 weeks while Torquay United and Hartlepool United managers hopeful season will continue
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A resurgent Chesterfield have been hit by the blow that their top scorer Tom Denton has been sidelined for ‘around 10 weeks’ with a knee injury. The towering striker has scored nine goals in 15 matches so far this season with only Bromley’s Michael Cheek (10) scoring more.
Spireites manager James Rowe confirmed on Friday that Denton will be having surgery next Tuesday and is expecting him to be sidelined for two and a half months.
He said ahead of Chesterfield’s match at Dagenham & Redbridge: “Tom Denton is still unavailable. He’s having an operation on Tuesday to clear up his knee.
“We are hoping it is just a clear-up, but we are looking at around ten weeks for Tom.”
The forward should be back playing by the time Hartlepool host Chesterfield in the National League on May 1 – should the season continue as planned.
There are concerns that the 2020-21 season could be brought to a close with National League clubs preparing to vote on the future of the campaign on Monday.
But Gary Johnson, manager of runaway league leaders Torquay United, is expecting the season to continue in the fifth tier at least.
"I don't think there's a great demand from the National League teams in our league that want to cancel the league," he told BBC Radio Devon.
"There's got to be promotion and relegation into the EFL and out of it. Everybody's working very hard to stay Covid safe and I think the powers that be want to try as much as they can to keep the football going.
"But the North and South are in a little bit more of a dangerous position as they don't get as much of a grant and some of those teams pay just as much in wages part-time as the full time lads who are training every day."
Meanwhile back at Pools, manager Dave Challinor was cautiously optimistic as he said: “I’m more hopeful based on what I’ve read and what I’ve seen, certainly from our league’s perspective [that it will continue].
"A lot will become more clear in the next 24 to 48 hours when things are decided by a vote.”