Stags boss Adam Murray admitted it was a risk to play Danny Rose last weekend as the striker recovers from a fractured eye socket.
Rose got through the game wearing a protective mask, surviving a kick to the face early on in the 1-0 defeat by Barnet, and will again be in the squad for Saturday’s trip to Hartlepool United.
“It was risk v reward,” said Murray. “But when you’ve got your best players and there is a percentage that you can get them on the pitch, we had a conversation and I won.
“It was an excellent mask. The guy who made the mask was Zorro’s brother!”
There was one worrying moment as Rose was caught by a high boot, but Murray said: “It didn’t look like it got the injury as he carried on playing.”
The manager said he didn’t know how long the socket would take to heal, saying: “I’ve have no idea. Once I knew he could wear a mask I stopped anyone asking questions!”
Rose has recently served a three game suspension, playing only in the EFL Trophy home defeat by Doncaster in which he suffered the injury.
Murray continued: “I thought Danny played really well on Saturday. He put himself about. You could tell we’ve missed him.
“He has got great energy and I think he’s going to score a lot of goals for us. He can score but he can link up as well and he had a superb game.
“I think towards the end you could see he hadn’t played a lot.
“One chance fell to him on the edge of the box and his touch let it get away from him. I think if he gets that opportunity this Saturday, he scores.”