Crawley skipper Josh Simpson is facing a prolonged period on the sidelines as he struggles to overcome an ankle injury.

Simpson has been missing since limping out of the opening game of the season at Barnsley at half-time.

Boss John Gregory had initially hoped the midfielder would only miss a handful of games but it now looks unlikely he will be back until the clash with Yeovil on September 27 at the earliest.

Gregory said: “I’ve no idea when Josh might be back at the moment. He is quite a way from training again so we will just have to get on without him.

“He has damaged some ligaments in his ankle which were extremely painful at first.

“We put him in a splint for almost two weeks and it responded quite well to treatment but he is still in a bit of pain.

“It still feels a bit uncomfortable when he tries to jog so we will just have to be patient.”

Reds will also be missing Joe Walsh and Gwion Edwards for the visit of Rochdale on Saturday due to their involvement with Wales Under-21s but Gregory is confident that Conor Henderson and Ryan Dickson will both be available.

Henderson missed the JP Trophy victory over Cambridge on Tuesday with a knee injury while Dickson limped off after 62 minutes.