CHESTER joint-manager Anthony Johnson says the mounting injury crisis at the club feels like a ‘curse’.

The Blues squad has been beset with injuries this term, with prolific forward Akwasi Asante and midfielder Gary Stopforth the latest to be sidelined.

Neither player had featured for the club since the 2-1 home victory over Telford on December 22, but both underwent scans on their respective knocks this week.

Club-record signing Asante has damaged knee tendons and could be out for a month, while Stopforth requires surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee and faces a lengthier absence

The pair join the likes of Matty Hughes, Scott Burton and Rhain Hellawell on the walking wounded list, while Lloyd Marsh-Hughes was injured in the warm-up before Tuesday night’s Cheshire Cup victory at Winsford United.

Johnson said: “It never rains but it pours. Myself and Bernard (Morley) agreed that we’d never experienced an injury list like this - it’s felt unprecedented.

“Things were bad enough before we’d even got the news on the scans for Akwasi and Gary. But the fact we’re going to be without two of them for a decent stretch of the season now, just makes it feel like this club is cursed.

“As coaches you start to question training methods and whether this volume of injuries was avoidable. But every single one has been game-related and come from tackles on the pitch.

“So we’ve lost the spine of the team, which is bad enough but then to compound matters we’re losing players like Rhain and Lloyd too.

“These are lads who’ve been handed their chance in the side but have now been ruled out themselves. It’s beyond frustrating.”

In addition to their injured cohort of players, Johnson and Morley are unable to call upon the suspended George Green for Saturday’s clash with Guiseley.

The gifted playmaker was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the victory at FC United last weekend, but played in the 4-0 win at Winsford in which he netted a sublime curling free-kick.

After starting in the Blues’ last three outings, Green has impressed Johnson with his all-round influence on the pitch.

“George oozes class and it’s fantastic to have him involved again,” added Johnson.

“His second yellow card at the weekend was scandalous and never a booking, so you could understand why he was so upset. He wants to play every minute of every game, so getting him back on the pitch quickly at Winsford seemed the right move. He’s given a fully committed performance and scored an unbelievable goal. That’s no more than we’ve come to expect from a player of his quality.”