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Crocked Bantams midfielder Ritchie Jones is done four!
City fear Ritchie Jones may have to wait until October to begin his season.
The midfielder faces a scan on the ankle ligaments he injured in training last Friday.
But Phil Parkinson has already braced himself to be without Jones for the foreseeable future.
Parkinson, who is also currently without skipper Ricky Ravenhill, admitted: “It’s going to be at least four weeks with Ritchie.
“We’ve had the x-ray done and we’re thinking of having his ankle scanned once the swelling has gone down. But it will be a minimum of four weeks.”
Jones has not been involved since the Guiseley friendly three weeks ago when he suffered a tight hamstring. Previously he had played the second half at Tadcaster and a full 90 minutes against Bray.
Ravenhill is “progressing well” following his knee injury from Guiseley. He revealed in Tuesday’s programme that a secondary check suggests that he will be sidelined for weeks not months.
With both central midfielders crocked, Nathan Doyle was thrust into the side against Fleetwood despite a limited pre-season.
Parkinson was hugely impressed with a player he has earmarked for a major role in City’s campaign.
He said: “I thought Nathan was outstanding. He is tough but he can also play as well, he’s a good passer of the ball.
“I thought he and Jonah (Gary Jones) showed their quality. It was a real dogfight in there.
“There were a lot of tired bodies afterwards but that’s what it takes to win. They were a strong side and we had to be right at it.”
Parkinson believes City have already faced two genuine promotion contenders in Gillingham and Fleetwood. He felt his side were more than a match for both of them.
Parkinson added: “I was fortunate enough to watch Fleetwood play Nottingham Forest last Monday and then Gillingham at Bristol City the next night. I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that both those teams will be up there.
“Fleetwood will probably spend again and make themselves stronger. They’ve got more resources than anyone in the league.
“Gillingham looked a strong team on Saturday and won away again the other night.
“We aren’t getting carried away but it’s been a good indicator for the lads. It shows how hard you have to work to win games.
“We know the quality is there when we put the work in. But the hard work has to come first.
“You put both those elements together and it’s a good recipe for us.”