PHIL PARKINSON refuses to put a timescale on when Arthur Okonkwo will be available for selection.

The goalkeeper, brought in on a season-long loan from Arsenal on transfer deadline day, suffered a jaw injury in the 2-2 draw at Harrogate Town on November 28 and was withdrawn at half-time.

Okonkwo, who has made 13 appearances in all competitions since his arrival at The Racecourse, has gone back to his parent club for minor surgery and will return to Wrexham once it has been successfully completed.

Although it is believed Okonkwo could be out for weeks rather than months, Parkinson would not state when he thinks the 22-year-old, who may play in a protective mask as he recovers from the injury, could be be back in action for Wrexham.

"We will see how the surgery goes and we will take it from there," said the Reds' boss.

"It could have been worse, it could have been better. I think that is the best way of describing it.

"There's a fracture in his jaw and he is having surgery this week. It's a shame but that's football.

"Arthur is a tough character and he is desperate to get back playing as quickly as possible."

Experienced stopper Mark Howard, who replaced Okonkwo at Harrogate, started Sunday's 3-0 FA Cup victory over Yeovil Town which secured a third round derby away at Shrewsbury Town.

Parkinson rang the changes for Tuesday night's EFL Trophy second round tie against Burton Albion, who won 3-2, with youngster Luke McNicholas taking over between the posts, and the Reds' boss feels he is well-equipped in the goalkeeping department despite being without Okonkwo for the foreseeable future.

"Mark has done brilliantly," he added.

"I think people forget with Mark that his record for us in goal is really good.

"Young Luke was unlucky to be on the end of conceding three goals against Burton because he didn't really have a lot of chance with any of them."