Ben Garratt: Crewe Alexandra goalkeeper out for rest of season

Crewe Alexandra keeper Ben Garratt
Ben Garratt was injured in Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Barnsley

Crewe Alexandra goalkeeper Ben Garratt has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured shin bone.

Garratt, 20, was forced to go off in the second half of Saturday's 2-0 League One defeat at Barnsley and was replaced by debutant Paul Rachubka.

X-rays have shown a fracture and he will now see a specialist to determine whether he will need an operation.

"It wasn't a challenge. He just felt his shin and couldn't put any weight on it," said Crewe manager Steve Davis.

The Alex still in danger of the drop
Crewe were bottom of League One for most of the first half of the season, before going on a run of seven wins in 10 games. Successive league defeats in South Yorkshire by Doncaster Rovers and Barnsley have left the Alex five points above the relegation zone.

The Alex used three other goalkeepers last season - Alan Martin, Steve Phillips and the on-loan Neil Etheridge - prior to Garratt being called upon for the first time in December 2013.

But the former England youth international has shown great consistency for the Alex since, missing just three league games, until he departed the action after 71 minutes on Saturday between Barnsley's two second-half goals.

Crewe have an immediate replacement lined up, the injury having happened barely 24 hours after the experienced, much-travelled Rachubka signed for the Alex until the end of the season.

Davis gambled by going without a replacement goalkeeper on the bench for three games in the wake of Scott Shearer's exit to Burton Albion on loan in early January.

He then signed youngster Ross Etheridge from Derby County on a month's loan, but Garratt's injury now once again leaves the Alex boss needing cover on the bench.