Braintree Town have been hit by the news that Matt Paine may not now see Iron action before Christmas.

It had initially looked promising that Paine would return sooner rather than later from the knee injury he picked up on the opening day of the season against Macclesfield, but that isn’t likely to be the case after closer scrutiny.

“Matt will be out until Christmas unfortunately,” said Iron boss Alan Devonshire.

“From the initial scan it looked like it was just cartilage damage and would be four to six weeks, but another scan has now revealed that it’s a ruptured ligament at the back of his knee.

“That’s going to be about four months I’m afraid.”

Braintree are due to host Bristol Rovers at the Amlin Stadium tomorrow looking to make it three Vanarama Conference Premier wins in a row.

Braintree haven’t had a midweek game this week and Devonshire said it would give a few other players a chance to come back from niggling injuries.

Ryan Peters has a calf problem, Michael Bakare has a groin problem and Ryan Case has an ankle injury, but their fitnesses will be monitored ahead of the game.