Carlisle United have suffered further striker injury blows with Terry Ablade ruled out for the season and Georgie Kelly’s debut further delayed.

Ablade, recently back from injury, has torn a second thigh muscle and is looking at 12 weeks on the sidelines.

And deadline-day signing Kelly is looking at another four weeks out after feeling more discomfort in his troublesome calf.

Sean Maguire is also a doubt for this weekend’s clash with Cambridge United because of an ankle problem which manager Paul Simpson hopes will not sideline him for long.

United’s boss gave an update on the setbacks at his weekly press conference on Thursday afternoon.

“We’ve had some real frustrations this week in terms of the injured players having setbacks,” said Simpson.

“Terry Ablade has now torn his other thigh, so he’s probably done for the season. It’s a 12-week injury, I think.

“Georgie Kelly had got to a point last week where he’d ticked the boxes in terms of the first return to training. He went out last Saturday before the Portsmouth game just to do a real steady jog, and he felt something in his soleus [calf] muscle again.

“We’ve had it scanned again and we’re looking at a six-week injury with that, so this Saturday we’re two weeks into it.

“He’s still weeks away – again, I’m having to try and be calm about that because I knew he was [a signing] for the long-term, but I’m really frustrated with it as much as he is.

News and Star: Sean Maguire has an ankle problemSean Maguire has an ankle problem (Image: Richard Parkes)

“Sean Maguire has had some discomfort in his ankle area, so we sent him to a specialist, and he’s injected a sort of local anaesthetic and some sort of lubricant in there.

“We thought he was going to be okay to train today but he’s not, so he’s a doubt for the weekend.

“We’re hoping that’s not a long-term one. He would have been available for Tuesday [the aborted trip to Burton Albion] but we got the injection done with a view to him being right for Saturday. It’s not quite right today so we’ve got to wait and see.”

United are also still without Joshua Kayode and Josh Emmanuel.

“With JJ, we’d got to a point where he was back out on the grass and he’s getting a little bit of discomfort in his calf – still the same thing [as before] – so we’ve had to ease back on him a little bit,” added Simpson.

“Josh Emmanuel was ill, he’s now come back in but he’s feeling a bit of discomfort in his hamstring, but we hope he’s going to return to full training maybe Friday or early next week, so that one’s not as bad.”

United’s shortage of attackers meant recent Ukrainian signing Anton Dudik travelled with the squad to Burton and was set to be on the bench.

The 19-year-old could again be in the frame for a role on Saturday should Maguire not make a quick recovery.

Simpson said that, despite the series of fresh setbacks, United’s available players had to take their chances.

“It’s really frustrating because we want some help coming in, but unfortunately when you’re at the bottom things go against you," he said.

“There’s research that goes into the stages you have to go through [with these players coming back from injury], and we’re following these things, but we just can’t get them right. There’s a real frustration there.

“But we just have to get on with it and, with the players we have, we’ve got to get more out of them, they’ve got to get more out of themselves. It’s about players – about grabbing their opportunity, grabbing the moment.”