SAM RICKETTS expects Manny Smith to be out of action for at least eight weeks.

The centre-back has missed the last three games after picking up a knee injury in the 1-0 defeat at Solihull Moors on August 27, forcing Ricketts to sign Jake Lawlor from Salford City for an undisclosed fee.

Ricketts confirmed that Smith won't be sidelined for as long as first feared but will still be without the defender for a couple of months.

"Manny has had scans and seen the specialist," said Ricketts. "He has injured his knee but it is not as serious.

"You are looking at another eight-ten weeks or so, something like that, and then he will be back."

The loss of Smith has not affected Wrexham who took 21 points from the opening 10 games to sit second in the National League.

Ricketts can see signs of progress since the season started but wants more from the Reds.

"I think you keep assessing after every game," added Ricketts. "Obviously 10 games is a bit of a marker because it is a round number.

"We have progressed in the first 10 games as a team, I think we are better now than what we were at the start of the season.

"That will be the same progression now through the next 10 games, try to work on a few things, keep trying to improve and keep getting better."