Kidderminster Harriers have been left reeling with the news that influential defender Cliff Moyo is to miss six months due to injury.

Moyo, who has been captain during his time at Aggborough Stadium, suffered a serious injury during the pre-season friendly defeat to Cheltenham Town earlier this month.

In a seemingly innocuous movement, the former FC Halifax and Alfreton Town man turned inside the penalty area just the first half the fixture, sustaining what the club have confirmed is a partial Achilles Tendon rupture.

It’s a major blow to boss Russ Penn and his team’s preparations for the new National League North season, but especially so for the former Zimbabwe International, who had returned for pre-season training earlier this month in impressive condition.

The club’s medical staff hinted that the player’s recovery is already well underway.

First team therapist, Michael Barrett said: “The mechanism of injury was very innocuous as it was just a slow change of direction that caused the injury.

“The injury is disappointing for Cliff and the rest of the team as everyone returned to pre-season fit and healthy.

“Since the injury, the board have been extremely helpful in beginning the rehabilitation process which is well underway.

“Cliff had an MRI on his Achilles within 24 of his injury confirming what we expected. For Cliff this means six months on the sidelines working each day to get back into the starting eleven.”

That tentative timetable puts Moyo on course to be fit enough to return for training in the New Year, which will at least offer hope he’ll still have plenty of say in the team’s 2021/22 campaign.

Moyo has been with Harriers since 2019, playing almost 50 games since then. The player himself went on to say that he’s determined to still have an impact this term.

He added: “The club have been fantastic with me and dealing with the whole situation so quickly. It’s really helped me stay positive during a tough time and I cannot thank them enough.

“I’ve never really had a long-term injury like this so naturally I am disappointed, but I’m determined to work hard and get back with the lads as quickly as possible.

“I know we’re going to have an exciting season so I want to make sure I can get back and play a big part in that.”

Harriers continued their pre-season programme with a 3-2 defeat at Stratford Town on Tuesday night, with their goals coming from Ashley Hemmings and Sam Austin.

The Reds journey to Halesowen this weekend before welcoming a Manchester United XI to Aggborough next Friday, August 6 (7.45pm).