DOUGIE Freedman has been dealt a double injury blow with news defender Matt Mills will join Mark Davies on the sidelines until the new year.

The centre-back, pictured, has suffered a hamstring injury which is, like Davies’s shoulder problem, worse than first feared after he limped out last weekend at Huddersfield late on. The Whites boss confirmed he is also set for up to two months out after initially being ruled out for half that period.

Ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Charlton, Freedman revealed midfielder Davies could be out for upwards of eight weeks himself after surgery on a small fracture in his shoulder, as reported in yesterday’s Bolton News.

It is a big blow for Wanderers as they prepare for a hectic programme over Christmas of five games in 17 days.

Freedman said: “Matt’s injury is looking like another six to eight weeks and very unfortunate for the team.

“That was the difference on Saturday.

“When a centre-half goes down with seven minutes to go after doing his hamstring it means you have to change a very crucial part of the team and it upset us a little bit.

“It is a blow for us, as is Mark’s injury.

“Mark had a small problem with his shoulder during the game last Saturday and played on with it, which is very brave of him.

“But unfortunately he has had to have surgery on it so he will be out for six to eight weeks.

“What I have been told by the surgeon is that his shoulder half popped out of the socket.

“Straight away, the doctor popped it back in, which was fine and he felt no pain and played on without discomfort.

“It wasn’t until the Monday morning that he has woken up and felt discomfort.

“The MRI scan showed that because popped out, it left a slight fracture and started to swell.

“We could have left it but it is best to operate on it and get it all mended up.”

Freedman hopes Davies will be back at some point in January but is not prepared to rush his rehabilitation after suffering a similar shoulder injury during his own playing days.

The boss said: “I had a shoulder injury very similar when I played and I was out for 12 weeks with it.

“It was the most painful injury I have ever had.

“Pretty much your whole life revolves around your shoulders; walking, eating, sleeping and driving.

“It won’t be one I will be rushing back.

“We will make sure he is right with his rehabilitation.

“We are looking mid to end of January he could be back.”

Davies’s absence is a setback after some impressive form in recent weeks with three goals in his last five games.

But Freedman believes it opens the door for other members of his squad and isn’t plan a raid into the January transfer market for a replacement.

He added: “I don’t think we could go out and get a player of Mark’s quality in to replace him.

“We have just take it on the chin and try and react in a positive way.

“He has a few goals but there are goals elsewhere.

“Chris Eagles is in good form and Chungy was excellent last Saturday.

“Marvin (Sordell) and Benik (Afobe) are there on the bench with David Ngog as well.

“We just have to cope and see if others take their chance.”