Bognor fear Calvin Davies could be sidelined for a lengthy spell after a setback in his bid to overcome a serious keen injury.
Full-back Davies, 21, missed a large chunk of last season with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury but had been making progress in his battle to be fit for next season.
Now it looks the knee hasn’t repaired properly and the ex-Pompey academy man, who signed for the Rocks in 2017 after a successful loan period, may need an operation.
It means the return of James Crane - announced on Thursday morning - could prove very timely.
Manager Jack Pearce said: “It’s certainly a huge setback for Calvin and I feel for the lad. He could be out for some time.
“A scan has shown a detached ACL. In the old days that could have finished a player’s career but it doesn’t have to be that way now.
“Modern technology can work wonders. We’ll know more as the weeks go by and a decision will then be made as to the next step in his rehabilitation.”
The Rocks also feared they had lost centre-half Chad Field to an ACL injury he suffered in the Sussex Cup final.
Pearce said that did not now look as bad as feared, but there were no guarantees Field would be fit for the start of pre-season. Pearce is starting to speak to existing players about next season and plans to talk to Pompey about whether the likes of forwards Brad Lethbridge and Leon Maloney may be available.
Another friendly has been added to the Rocks’ pre-season line-up and it’s one with a trophy attached. As Senior Cup winners, Bognor will play SCFL champions Chi City in the Sussex Community Shield at Lancing on July 30.