EXPERIENCED forward Marc Richards is expected to be out for two months after picking up a shoulder injury during Swindon Town’s pre-season friendly against Melksham on Saturday.

Richards landed awkwardly on his elbow mid-way through the first half when contesting a header in midfield during Town’s latest friendly.

The 36-year-old former Northampton forward was forced off the field and replaced by Jordan Young before undergoing scans and x-rays, which confirmed he will miss at least the first month of Town’s League Two campaign.

Town boss Phil Brown admitted hearing news on Richards’ injury was a ‘bitter pill to swallow’.

He said: “Marc is going to out for a couple of months after a very unfortunate fall.

“It was very unfortunate with the way it happened, particularly in a game of little importance apart from fitness levels.

“Playing a local team and using their facility, it’s a very bitter pill to swallow. One of our big players, one of our main players from last season, is going to be out for a couple of months minimum.

“It’s a disappointing one, but hopefully Marc will recover sooner than later.”

Richards’ absence means Brown is actively on the lookout for a fresh face to add to his forward ranks.

After last year’s top goalscorer Luke Norris departed for Colchester United, Brown was first to admit Town are down on power up front.

“We’ll be looking to bring in strikers, I would say we’re four players short,” said Brown.

“We’re very young out in Spain. The young kids are having to fill in at the moment and they’re doing a good job in terms of making the numbers up.

“But then I’m expecting big things from Scott Twine this year, and I’m expecting big things from Joe Romanski too.

“You never know, one might come out the pack and surprise you too.”

Kaiyne Woolery, who scored five goals in 43 appearances for Town last season, is also set to miss the first month of the season.

The 23-year-old continues to be supported by a leg brace, and only until that brace comes off can Woolery start regular first-team training.

Brown said: “Kaiyne will be likely to return in September. He’s still on a brace, when that comes off he can start doing more active work.”

Town return to the County Ground on Saturday when hosting West Bromwich Albion in a pre-season friendly.