DEAN KEATES worst fears were confirmed by the news that James Horsfield will be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Horsfield, on-loan at Wrexham from Scunthorpe, was stretchered off in the dying stages of the Reds’ 1-0 home success over Bromley.

After the final whistle Keates said: “If I am honest, it doesn’t look great.”

And Keates confirmed that Horsfield will be unable to play any further part in Wrexham’s bid to climb the National League table after a scan on his knee.

“It’s as good as it can be,” said Keates. “It’s quite a clean split.

“His season will be over, but it’s not too bad.”

Whether Keates will be tempted to fill the void left by Horsfield, who is capable of playing in defence or midfield, remains to be seen, but the Wrexham boss is confident of bringing in new faces ahead of the league clash with Yeovil on Saturday week.

“We are working away,” said Keates, who confirmed that striker JJ Hooper was nearing a return to full fitness.

“I’d like to think we may get one or two in ready to go towards Yeovil.”

Before then, Wrexham face a Scottish Challenge Cup quarter-final against Rangers Colts and an FA Cup replay at Rochdale.

The prize on offer for beating Rochdale is a home clash with National League North outfit Boston United in round two.

But Keates isn’t getting ahead of himself, saying: “We’ve still got to go to a League One ground and get through.

“What’s waiting in the round after is irrelevant if I’m honest because you can’t look any further than Rochdale.”

Keates bemoaned missed opportunities on Sunday as Wrexham failed to put Rochdale to the sword in a goalless draw.

That doesn’t mean Keates isn’t confident about completing the job, adding: “I don’t see it that we are now on the back-foot and don’t expect to get through.”