Peter Thorne could miss the whole of January as Stuart McCall steps up his search for an attacking reinforcement.

The City boss was already in the market for a striker to bolster his squad for the promotion run-in.

But there will be an added urgency about his transfer-window shopping with the news that top scorer Thorne faces an injury lay-off.

Thorne was left out completely in Sunday’s 4-0 win over More-cambe and McCall confirmed that he would be taking a break to allow his damaged shoulder time to repair.

McCall said: “With the shoulder injury he’s got, it can be anything from two to four weeks. But we took the joint decision that he needs to rest up.

“Peter felt as though he could get through the pain barrier and play and I credit him for doing that. You want that attitude in your players but it wasn’t helping him or us.

“He was okay in training but that’s not full contact and it’s different from what you are getting in a game.

“After coming on against Lincoln on Boxing Day, he wasn’t himself and he knew that. So we took the decision and he will just have to rest.

“He can still do his fitness work but has to avoid any tough, physical contact until the shoulder has settled down. Hopefully he’ll be back nice and fresh before too long.”

Having begun the season with a bang to lead the division, Thorne’s scoring run has tailed off. The last of his 11 goals was in the 3-3 draw with Barnet on November 1.

He had only started two of the last seven games.

Michael Boulding has picked up the baton since, netting his fifth goal in seven games at the weekend to move within one of Thorne.

Barry Conlon has also chipped in with eight, earning his new contract, but McCall feels there is still room for another frontman following Willy Topp’s recent exit.

McCall added: “I was looking for one anyway before we knew about Thorney. So many things happen in football and teams that you might get a player from lose a manager (Leeds) but we’re on the look-out.

“We do need another one challenging up top, even though we are the second top scorers in our league. It would just give us another option for the second half of the season.”

McCall has a busy week ahead with the loanees in his squad all approaching their deadline.

He said: “I’ve got a few lads to sit down and talk to; not just the players, but agents and managers. We’ll see where we go with the players already here and look to get a couple in when the window opens.”