CHRIS Smith could miss the start of the season for Worcester City with an ankle injury.

The defender missed Sunday's 0-0 draw with Walsall and is set to see a specialist to try and sort the problem.

Manager Andy Preece, who-se side host Yeovil Town tonight (Tuesday 7.45), said it was not clear whether Smith's injury was fresh or a recurrence of the one that saw him struggle towards the end of the season.

Either way, it is a major blow for Preece with the opening Blue Square North game against Hyde United less than three weeks away.

It also means City currently have three of their 18-man squad on the sidelines with midfielder Nick Colley awaiting groin surgery and Shaun Findlay battling with a hip problem.

Preece said: "Chris Smith is struggling a little bit. We are hoping he will be fit for the start of the season but it is touch and go at the moment."

In Smith's absence, Preece handed the captain's armband to Adam Webster for the Walsall match as he continues to decide who to give the job to on a full-time basis.

Preece kept the same 11 on the pitch for 65 minutes on Sunday and is unlikely to make many changes ahead of tonight's friendly against Yeovil.

The two sides have not met since the Glovers won 2-1 at St George's Lane in an FA Cup second qualifying round clash in 1997.

Yeovil boss Russell Slade is expected to bring a first team squad as his side continue to step up their preparations for the new season.

Former Sunderland striker Marcus Stewart is their star name but the Somerset outfit have had something of an overhaul since losing to Black-pool in the League One play-off final in May.

Welsh international Arron Davies and Chris Cohen join-ed Nottingham Forest for £1million, while Leyton Orient snapped up last season's top-scorer Wayne Gray and Paul Terry.

However, Slade has been busy in the transfer market, bringing in ex-Brentford forward Lloyd Owusu, Mark Bircham from Millwall and Gary Dempsey from Aberdeen.

But Worcester go into the match with confidence after more than matching League One opponents Walsall in Sunday's stalemate.

Preece said: "After the Bromsgrove performance, getting a 0-0 draw with Walsall is no mean feat. They put a different team out in the second-half and were therefore fitter."