DEAN KEATES admits he could be forced to sign a replacement left-back as the Reds' boss waits to discover the extent of James Jennings' knee injury.

Jennings sustained the injury in last weekend's goalless draw against Dagenham and Redbridge and will almost certainly miss Saturday's trip to Chesterfield, another side battling to avoid relegation from the National League.

Keates accepts there was no malice in the challenge that saw Jennings limp off in the 79th minute.

"I crossed paths with the lad in the tunnel after the game and he was apologetic but you could see it was an honest tackle," said Keates.

"There was no malice in it from the Dagenham player.

"Two lads going full-blooded into a tackle and unfortunately for James he has come out on the worst end of it.

"It is highly unlikely he will be fit for the weekend."

When asked whether he thought Jennings was facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Keates was non-committal.

"We will have to wait and see," said Keates. "We are waiting for results from a scan."

Keates would like to add "one or two" more players to his squad, with the Reds' boss still able to sign free agents and loan players now that the transfer window has closed.

And with Jennings doubtful for upcoming games, or longer, Keates admits a replacement left-back could be on the shopping list.

"I will have to re-adjust my thinking," said Keates.

"It is something that I didn't envisage having to do and recruit on that side.

"It is something we need to look at and we will see on the clarity we get from the scan on how long we have to do something."

Utility player Mark Carrington, who could slot in as a replacement for Jennings, missed the Dagenham game through injury with new signing Jordon Thompson taking his place in the right wing-back role.

Carrington, the longest serving player in Keates' squad, is on course to return at Chesterfield.

"Carra is doing alright," added Keates.

"I am hopeful. Whether he is back for the weekend, we will wait on that one as well."

Keates did offer an update on his efforts to bring in new signings ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash, adding: “There are phone calls being made and hopefully I will find out more today.”