NEWPORT County AFC are chasing another defensive signing following Byron Anthony’s horror leg break, but the Exiles have fallen short in persuading Ryan Doble to stay on.

The Argus can reveal that manager Justin Edinburgh will sign a replacement for Anthony, who is sidelined until at least 2014.

He underwent successful surgery for a double break in his right leg around the ankle and has had a metal plate fitted, though he has avoided going into plaster.

But that hasn’t stopped Edinburgh from making plans for life without the key figure, who will be sidelined until the New Year but could return to action this season, at least some good news from an injury that overshadowed Newport’s triumph at Brighton.

Edinburgh revealed the ex-Bristol Rovers defender is staying positive, especially as his performance helped to earn County a trip to Premier League outfit West Brom.

“Things are far better than they could be with Byron, he’s had the operation, they’ve put a plate in and he’s not in plaster, up on his feet and with a range of movement in his ankle, so we are probably at around six weeks until the bone is healed,” Edinburgh explained.

“But then it’ll probably be sometime next year when we welcome him back into the group. So in the meantime we are going to have to bring another defender in, I’ve made that clear in a conversation with the chairman and Tim Harris.

“It sounds ruthless, but someone’s loss is someone else’s gain as you saw with Andrew Hughes coming on and doing so well against Brighton.

“We’ve got cover for now, but it’s something we want to secure, a new defender. We are all well aware we must bring one to the club.

“We are trying to progress things and are working hard on it, we aren’t blessed with big numbers.

“But things are definitely better than they could’ve been with Byron. When I heard that noise on Tuesday and saw the change in the leg, you fear the worst, no doubt. The positives are it’s a clean break and he’s already on the road to recovery and feeling good in himself.”

Defender Tony James is around two weeks from a return to action after a scan revealed he only has a minor strain in his hamstring as opposed to a tear of the muscle.

However, Edinburgh has failed to convince local striker Doble to join the Rodney Parade revolution.

The Blaenavon ace, who came up through the academy at Southampton and is a Wales U21 international, was yesterday offered a month to month deal with County.

However, with the transfer window closing AFTER the first month on such a deal, and with no assurances made over his future, Doble has instead opted to try to find something else.

“We offered Ryan a month and hoped to get that done, but it wasn’t to be,” Edinburgh said.

“We are very tight in terms of wages and we’ll wish him well.”

Edinburgh is aware complaints were made to Sussex Police about him and his staff on Tuesday by Brighton fans, as revealed in yesterday’s Argus, and also confirmed the Exiles will support Aaron O’Connor who alleges he was racially abused by home supporters.

“I’ve spoken to Aaron on it but only briefly, we were more concerned with Byron, but we’ll speak with him to see what he wants to do next in terms of taking it further.

“But in terms of the general situation regarding the Brighton game, it’s probably unwise for me to say too much more.

“If we are charged by the FA or whatever I will have a lot to say about it and I could’ve said a lot about it on the night with some of the things I heard, but we aren’t going to do that, it wouldn’t be wise at this point.”