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Wagner: Wells needs rest not more football

Cup doubt: it may be some time before Wells is back in a Bermuda shirt (File photograph by Nicola Muirhead)

Nahki Wells will miss Huddersfield Town’s final game of the Sky Bet Championship season tomorrow because of a knee injury.

Wells, the club’s leading scorer with 18 goals, has played through the pain for the past six weeks and was substituted after 61 minutes in last weekend’s 4-0 defeat away to Bristol City.

The 25-year-old’s injured knee does not require surgery, although it will prevent the Bermuda striker from reaching his 20-goal target in the game at home against Brentford.

It also casts doubt on his availability for Bermuda’s second-round Caribbean Cup matches away to French Guiana and at home Dominican Republic next month.

David Wagner, the Huddersfield head coach, said it was not worth risking Wells against Brentford.

“Previously Nahki and the medical staff were able to manage the injury,” Wagner told the Huddersfield Examiner.

“But it has now become worse and there is no point in taking a risk. I am confident that with the rest Nahki can now take, it will clear up by pre-season.”

It is likely Harry Bunn will play as a lone striker against Brentford, with Flo Bojaj another option in the absence of Wells.

Wells, the club-record £1.3 million signing from League One Bradford City, has been linked with a summer move away from the John Smith’s Stadium.

Dean Hoyle, the Huddersfield chairman, said the rumours of continued interest in Wells come as no surprise.

Hoyle, however, remains relaxed over Wells’s future and insists he wants him to remain at the club.

“Nahki has two years left on his contract, we want him and David Wagner wants him,” said Hoyle, who sanctioned the Wells purchase in January 2014.

“As a club, we have no financial need to sell, and Nahki is happy and settled here.

“Of course he has aspirations to play at the highest level he can, and every player should have.

“But we think he can really help us push on, and hopefully Nahki does too.”

Andrew Bascome, the Bermuda coach, will certainly be hoping Wells’s injury clears up before the second round of the Caribbean Cup.

The second round will involve five groups, with the winners and four best runners-up advancing to the third round to be held from October 3 to 9.

Jamaica, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago have received a bye to the third round because of their involvement in World Cup qualifying matches.

Wells has not played for Bermuda since last year’s World Cup first-round qualifier against Bahamas, scoring three goals in his country’s 8-0 aggregate win.

He pulled out of Bermuda’s second-round matches against Guatemala in June last year after injuring his left ankle during a training session at the North Field.

Despite the loss of their best player, Bermuda achieved a 0-0 draw in the away leg against Guatemala, who were ranked 33 positions above them in the Fifa world rankings, but crashed out of the competition with a 1-0 defeat at home.