Mansfield Town centre half Luke Jones’ future with the club is looking bleak after yet another setback in his battle for fitness.
However, fellow long-term injured star Matty Blair could still earn himself a new Mansfield Town contract as he gets closer to full fitness ahead of schedule.
Jones, who returned for a third spell with the club last summer, has yet to kick a ball after problems healing a ruptured Achilles’ tendon forced him to miss the whole season and suffer setback after setback. He now sees a specialist next week with his future hanging in the balance on the outcome.
The defender is now out of contract and, while boss Adam Murray knows a fully-fit Jones would be a major addition to his squad, he said: “Luke has had a bit of a complication with his injury which has set him back a bit which is a little disappointing.
“We are going to have to really look at that and see what the specialist says and how it goes. That one has got a little bit complicated.”
He added: “Luke was in a plastic boot to give the tendon time to heal. He came out of it and it hadn’t healed properly. It was still very weak.
“Next week he will see the specialist and they will decide what the next course of action is. We are disappointed with that, but no one is more disappointed than Luke who has obviously took it to heart because he is a strong person, a strong character and a very good player.”
The gloom over Jones, has been tempered by the sight of winger Matty Blair racing around in training less than six months after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury at Carlisle just after signing for the Stags.
“The news with Matty Blair is more encouraging and it’s now about us having patience with him to make sure he is ready to come straight back in,” said Murray.
“Matty is flying. He is coming on leaps and bounds, probably quicker than expected.
“He says he actually feels stronger than when he first got injured which is a big plus point for us.
“But, like with Liam Hearn, I won’t rush him. When he comes back he needs to be able to affect League Two. If it takes a little bit longer then we will be patient.”