WANDERERS could be without striker Shaun Miller until April after scans on a thigh injury confirmed their worst fears this week.

The experienced front man had made a good start to his Bolton career after signing on a free transfer at the start of September, scoring against his former club Crewe in the Papa John’s Trophy.

But Ian Evatt has confirmed that the 32-year-old will be out of action for up to five months with a serious tear – which could now force his hand into finding a replacement in the transfer window.

“I think we are looking at March or April time for Shaun,” he said. “It’s really disappointing because he’d looked great.

“We were at the end of a training session doing a bit of a combination finishing drill last Thursday and with the very last kick he toe-poked one towards goal and that was that.

“It seemed innocuous at the time but we have had it scanned and it’s quite a serious tear to his rec fem.

“We keep picking up these soft tissue injuries and they are down to the schedule and the lockdown.

“We can’t avoid it, we’re trying, we’re doing everything we can, but sometimes we cannot affect the outcome.

“It is disappointing but we have to wish him well and hope he can get ahead of the time he has been allotted to recover.”

There is better news, however, on defenders Harry Brockbank and Liam Edwards, who have both been able to join in training sessions and are making strides towards a first team return.

Brockbank was ruled out for up to eight weeks with a minor hamstring tear at the start of last month and Edwards has been out of action since January, when he fractured his knee cap in a training ground collision.

“Brocky is doing well, he’s back on the grass,” Evatt explained. “He’s a great professional and has a great attitude to football. I’ll be really pleased to see him back.

“Liam Edwards is back on the gras again and progressing well. Obviously he has been out longer-term so he is going to take a while to get up to speed.”

Ali Crawford has missed a couple of days of training this week with a groin problem but should be fit to face Port Vale on Saturday.

“There are one or two others with slight issues but we’re managing them accordingly,” Evatt added.