Mansfield Town’s top scorer Danny Rose faces a second lay-off of the season with a hamstring injury ahead of Saturday’s tough trip to League Two leaders Swindon Town.
Rose, who had only returned a week earlier from an ankle injury that had sidelined him for a month, limped off in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Macclesfield, leaving his side to end the game with 10 men with all the subs used.
Boss John Dempster said: “Danny is going to be out for three to four weeks with a grade two hamstring strain and he will be a massive miss.
“Last season he had some shocking luck. But he started this season like a house on fire and has been brilliant on and off the pitch for us.
“I feel for Danny. He was very upset after the game - visibly upset.
“But three to four weeks goes very quickly in football, though it will probably seem like a lifetime to him, and it will be a massive boost for myself and the squad when Danny is back.
“As you can imagine we’re very disappointed and so is Danny, but he is a good healer – we saw that with his ankle – so we are hoping it’s three weeks rather than four. The sooner he is back the better.”
However, Rose’s absence does open up a place for someone else and Dempster added: “We are fortunate we’ve got some good attacking players and the players that come in need to take their opportunity as Danny will be back before we know it.
“They need to perform if they come in as the competition for places will be helpful to us.”
Stags head for Swindon in 14th place, seven points off the play-offs, and Dempster said: “We haven’t hits the heights that we want to yet but we feel we’re on the right track.
“Any team that can put an unbeaten run together will find themselves drifting up the table.
“We feel we’ve been in good form over the last seven to eight weeks, but there is more to come. There is more in the tank.
“If we can improve on our goals conceded column we always feel we’ll be a threat and can score goals.”
Otis Khan (groin) and Neal Bishop (back and tonsillitis) do have a chance of a return for the Swindon trip while Mansfield also hope to find out how long Hayden White will be out this week.