AN URGENT search for defensive reinforcements is underway after a broken arm for Gary Doherty left Wanderers short of options at the back.

The veteran former Irish international is likely to miss the rest of the campaign after falling awkwardly from an aerial challenge with Chesterfield striker Armand Gnanduillet on Saturday.

Scans confirmed the worst for Doherty on Monday, who also dislocated his elbow in the tumble.

It means Anthony Stewart and Leon Johnson are the club's only fit central defenders.

Ainsworth said: "Defensive wise we were sound at one stage, then Charles [Dunne] breaks his leg, Kortney [Hause] gets sold and Gary breaks his arm. Tommy Fletcher's also out with a thigh, so it's not an ideal situation.

"It's a position I'll be looking for cover. If we lose another centre half we're down to the bare bones."

With club captain Stuart Lewis also sidelined with a hamstring injury, Ainsworth said we was also looking for extra cover in midfield with Blues facing no fewer than eight matches in March.

He said: "We're trying to get players in and we'll do the best we can."

Ainsworth will also be without Reece Styche for tomorrow's trip to Southend United, with the striker away on international duty with Gibraltar, but he's hoping Matt McClure will have recovered from a midweek sickness bug in time to feature.