German midfielder Fabian Broghammer, who signed a one-year contract extension this summer, is likely to miss the majority of the upcoming campaign after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament during last week's friendly with Hereford.
Ryan Brunt (knee) and Jim Paterson (broken leg) are also set to start the season on the sidelines leaving Ward reliant on a predominantly young squad.
"When you lose players from the squad through injury you look around for others to stand up, so I think these sorts of situations and little setbacks only serve to galvanise the group," Ward told the Bristol Post.
"We had to go through similar problems a few months back and the response I got from the players was second-to-none, so I don't expect anything different when we start the new season."
He added: "We are a tight-knit group and we all feel desperately sorry for Fabian - it is horrible for a young player to get such a serious injury just before the start of a new season.
- Sports & Recreation
- Fabian Broghammer
- anterior cruciate ligament