Chris Wilder says that while he does not want to bring in another loan signing – he may have to.

The Oxford United boss has been hit hard by injuries this season – and last week was down to the bare bones in defence for the clash with Accrington Stanley.

With captain Jake Wright serving a one-match suspension for the game against Accrington, Harry Worley was set to come in for his first start of the season.

But he injured an ankle in training and has since been ruled out for a month.

He joins Tony Capaldi, Anthony Tonkin, Ryan James, Adam Chapman, Tom Craddock and Jonathan Franks on the treatment table.

“We have never used our injuries as an excuse for anything,” Wilder said.

“But it’s a fact, we have had a lot of players missing this season.

“Ideally I do not want to bring in another loan player, but we are really short in defence and I may have to – we’ll have to weigh the situation up.”

And the worrying thing is that it could be at least a month before any are fit to return to action.

“I would hope that they would be fit by mid-November at the latest,” Wilder said.

“But despite what a lot of people think, we are not in a position where we can just go and throw money at bringing someone in.”

Capaldi has missed the entire season with a back injury, while Tonkin’s groin problem has kept him out since the opening game of the campaign.

James, a back-up centre half, has a foot problem which prevented him being involved with the first-team squad for the first time against Accrington.

Craddock suffered a knee injury in pre-season which has meant he has not featured.

To rub salt into the wound, Chapman and loan striker Franks both collected long-term injuries in their first involvement with the club.

In a behind-closed-doors friendly with Bristol City, Franks, who had only joined on loan from Middlesbrough a couple of days earlier, landed awkwardly and dislocated a shoulder.

And Chapman was arguably even unluckier when he went in for his very first challenge since returning to the club and broke a bone in his foot, which has since been operated on.