Manny Smith: Wrexham defender's return from injury 'a long process'
Wrexham defender Manny Smith will miss the start of the season with manager Bryan Hughes resigned to be being without him until the New Year.
Smith made only eight appearances for Wrexham last season after suffering a knee injury at Solihull Moors last August.
The 30-year-old has not featured since December 2018 and Hughes said Smith was no closer to returning.
"Manny's had a bit of a rough ride over the last year," he said.
"He's got an infection in his knee which has caused him so many problems. He's on really strong antibiotics to try and get rid of it.
"It's going to be a long process because he's lost so much muscle mass over the time as well and it's been tough for him.
"If we get him back before Christmas then that will be a bonus. But when he does come back he will be like a new signing."
Wrexham began their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win at Welsh Premier side Cefn Druids on Saturday.
New signings JJ Hooper, Devonte Redmond, Leighton McIntosh and loan recruit Mark Harris all featured at The Rock.
Hooper scored twice and Redmond also netted and Hughes was pleased with their contributions and Wrexham's performance in their first friendly.
"You can't ask for more. You want to see your new signings making an impact," Hughes added.
"They certainly did, especially in that first half with some good play and good communication between JJ and Devonte.
"It was very pleasing but it's not about what we do now, it's what we do come the end of the season and hopefully those two will have a big part to play."
Wrexham's friendly against Fleetwood Town on Friday, 5 July will now be played at the League One club's training complex as the Racecourse pitch is not ready for action.