Brennan Dickenson is set to miss the start of the season through injury – but there is better news on one of Carlisle United’s other forwards.

Summer signing Dickenson has a hamstring problem which is continuing to be assessed.

Boss Chris Beech confirmed the ex-Colchester and Exeter man would not feature in next week’s opener and did not rule out a move in the transfer market to cover the 27-year-old’s absence.

Omari Patrick, though, is close to a return from his own hamstring issue.

On Dickenson, head coach Beech said today: “Brennan’s got a problem with his hamstring.

“It’s still being established [how long he will be sidelined for]; we’ll see how it responds this week. It’s not the best in terms of what’s initially come out, but it could have been worse.”

Beech admitted it will be a blow not to have the left-sided attacker available from the start of the 2020/21 season, which gets under way next Tuesday with an EFL Trophy home game against Fleetwood.

“In terms of having that power, pace and physicality, I think the fans will really relate to Brennan – he’s got a bit about him,” Beech said.

“It would be wrong to suggest wingers are not the hardest of players, but quite often they’re not. But Brennan is.

“That will resonate with our fans as well as his ability, speed, and qualities.

“We’ll have to wait a bit longer, which is a shame. Maybe that might be something we have to have a look at.”

Asked if he would bring in cover, Beech said: “Maybe – we’ll see. Your best-laid plans are often changed; it’s having the capabilities and adaptabilities as in any working life.

“Of course you’d want Brennan on that pitch against Fleetwood. It’s evident he won’t be, but you want him doing what we’ve employed him to do. He can’t currently.

“He was due to go home this weekend but he didn’t because he’s so committed to getting right. He’s committed to the area and he picked up his keys to his flat last week.

“It’s just what happens. Some things you can protect, some things, with the best will in the world, just happen.”

January signing Patrick, meanwhile, has sat out most of United’s friendlies, featuring only for 16 minutes at Wigan last weekend before discomfort in his hamstring saw him withdrawn.

Beech said: “He’s a quick athlete, and his hamstring tightened in training early doors.

"I could have played him at Gateshead, but we gave him a full week’s worth of training before we played Wigan, [but there] he just felt uneasy, so we felt it was best to bring him back out.

“He’s happy now so we’ll see how that goes.”

Beech said summer signing Jack Armer was progressing as he battles back from a leg injury. “He was running the other day at Liverpool," he said of the ex-Preston defender. "It’s a shame [he’s missed the friendlies] because he would have played a lot of time in these matches, but he will be back soon.

“Tom Wilson’s the longer-term injury, but he’s progressing well.”

Beech added that keeper Magnus Norman will see a specialist next Tuesday as United seek clarity on his knee injury.

Ex-Fulham man Norman’s injury led United back into the loan market this week to secure the return of Sheffield United’s Marcus Dewhurst to compete with Paul Farman for the first-choice keeper position.

Beech said: “With Magnus, it was a bit of a freak injury – he had massive swelling on his knee after Gateshead.

“He completed 90 minutes, didn’t feel anything, has a scan, and there’s news it could be…not long term but definitely not short. We start the season next week and have to make sure we’re covered.

“He’s seeing a specialist in London while we’re playing Fleetwood. There’s already been two opinions that are different in the doctors’ domains. He’s seeing what would be considered the elite specialist on Tuesday, so we’ll know more after that.

“It wasn’t definitely a week or two [out of action], otherwise we wouldn’t have looked at the loan market.

“We’re really thankful Sheffield United have been able to help us again and we’re getting a lad in Marcus that shares the same growth and commitment to playing football.

“There was a time last season we had horrific weather and a few players couldn’t get to work who lived that way. He just kept going in his car and eventually turned up about 2.30pm.

“I just thought to myself, ‘What a great attitude he’s got’. Hopefully we’ll see him make his debut this time. He was gonna make it before what happened to us [with last season being curtailed by Covid-19].”