Oxford City striker Steve Basham could be back from injury within weeks after a scan identifed his persistent calf problem as scar tissue damage.

It was thought that the former Oxford United frontman, 35, would be out for months and while he misses tomorrow’s trip to seventh-placed Altrincham, boss Mike Ford is confident he could return soon.

Basham scored one of City’s goals when they drew 2-2 at home to the Cheshire side in September.

“He’s been a massive miss for us because we’ve look-ed a real threat when he plays.

“We have no one in double-figures this season.

Altrincham have Damian Reeves who has scored 25 goals in the league. If a game is at 0-0, he’s the sort that has a chance and it’s a 1-0 win.

“So we have missed the extra 15 goals Steve would have bought us, so it would be a big boost to have him back.

Ford added: “Steve is going to see the chap who carried out the scan and they will work on his rehabilitation.

“The main problem is scar tissue below the knee.”

Meanwhile, frontmen Ashan Holgate and Jamie Cook may get the chance to continue their partnership upfront that worked well the 1-1 draw at Histon.

“Jamie did fine and the fitter Ashan gets the better he is. My dilemma is whether to play them both upfront or play Felipe Barcelos alongside Holgate and Jamie in the hole.

“Our three subs on Saturday, Mark Bell, Callum McNish and Nick Stanley also had an impact which gives me food for thought.” Ford has warned his players not to get carried away by Altrincham’s five-match winless run.

He said: “When I looked at the teams that make up our league, I had Altrincham down as a play-off contender,”

“And they are going to be chasing for a top-five place again.”

As well as Basham, City will be without Liam Malone (ankle).

Oxford City: From Ingram, Gunn, Learoyd, Willmott, Stonehouse, Benjamin, Pond, Ballard, Barcelos, Cook, Holgate, Stanley, McNish, Bell, McEachran, Mulvany.