WEYMOUTH ace Chris Shephard will not feature for the club again this season through injury, according to player-manager Jason Matthews.
The former Exeter City man, who has been hampered by injuries over the last two campaigns, told boss Matthews the news after getting the results back from a scan on his knee.
The Terras’ chief did however confirm that he would like to keep Shephard on board for next season, although he may face stiff competition from clubs higher up the league pyramid.
Speaking about Shephard, who picked up the injury at Basingstoke at the start of February, Matthews told Echosport: “Sheps has pretty much been ruled out for the rest of the season with his knee.
“There was no structural damage but he will not be fit until next season now, which is a blow and a sad finish to the season for him.
“Personally, I feel for him. Over the last two seasons, with one thing or another, it has not quite gone for Sheps, which is disappointing.”
Matthews, who revealed Shephard could still be set to go for further x-rays to assess the problem, added: “Obviously he has been my main playmaker since I have been manager at Weymouth and it’s disappointing for Sheps.
“For me, on his day, he is the best player in the league but he has struggled with injuries for the last couple of seasons, which is incredibly frustrating for him and myself.”
Quizzed on whether he would like to keep the creative midfielder, the Terras’ chief added: “Yeah, definitely. I’d definitely like to keep Sheps.
“I still feel he brings a lot to the table and it would be a shame to see him go.
“Saying that, I know he has had two offers from higher leagues – the next few weeks will be crucial as to what the board decide on budgets.”
Without Shephard in the playing squad, Weymouth are set to make the trip to Dunstable Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division on Saturday (3pm).
Striker Stuart Fleetwood is a huge doubt with kidney stones and Jordan Copp is set to remain out with an ankle problem.
Dean Evans is suspended but Matthews may include Dom Panesar-Dower, Sean Stewart and Conor Jevon in his squad.