Stags hoping for better news on injured stars
Mansfield Town are hoping for better news on key injured players ahead of Saturday's home clash with bottom side Scunthorpe United when revitalised Stags will try to make it five wins in a row.
Striker Danny Johnson is already ruled out for three weeks with a foot injury and Stags' awful luck with injuries this season flared again as they lost three more stars in Saturday's first away win of the campaign at Stevenage.
“Rhys Oates was a groin injury so he is a doubt for Saturday – we will have to see how he is later in the week,” said manager Nigel Clough.
“George Maris opened his knee up in a tackle and is probably the least serious of the three. We're hoping he will be all right for Saturday.
“George Lapslie has a shoulder strain which was causing him a lot of discomfort. You saw him wince during the game and after the game.
“I don't think he got much sleep on Saturday night, which you don't with those sorts of injuries. We will get it looked at but he must be a major doubt for Saturday.”
On Johnson, he added: “Danny is out with a foot injury, we will just keep an eye on him and get him back as soon as we can. It was very innocuous against Newcastle last week.
“The goalkeeper just caught him and he twisted it a little bit and nicked an ankle ligament. Then he put his penalty in and was feeling it more after that. He was coming off anyway when he got his hat-trick.
“He was coming off on the hour mark. When he scored his second we said we'll give you five minutes to get your hat-trick. He was delighted to get it, but we wish we'd brought him off.
“We hope we can get some of the injured lads on the pitch that we lost last week and stick as close to that same team as we can, though inevitably there will be one or two changes. That is the key to it now – consistency.”
Right back Kellan Gordon could be fit for selection after his spell out.
“Kellan is coming on,” said the manager.
“He had an injection last week which has helped settle this irritation in his knee. “So we are looking for him to get some training in with a view to being ready for Saturday, It would be good to get him back.
“Getting the players back, having had so many out a month ago, is coinciding with improved results. The last thing we want to do is start losing four or five again.
“After the game on Saturday we were without six, including Perchy, arguably all who could be starters.”
However, if fit, Gordon is unlikely to walk straight back into the team as Clough said he does not have a No.1 right back in his mind.
“It's whichever one is in form and fit.” he said.
“I don't think we've had too many opportunities when they've both been fit and we've had to make a choice so far this season.
“Elliot (Hewitt) has the berth at the moment and, with us having other centre halves, he will stay there for now.”