Stags defender Howkins to miss big derby at Notts

Kyle Howkins.
Kyle Howkins.

Mansfield Town will definitely be without loanee centre half Kyle Howkins for Saturday’s big local derby at Notts County.

Howkins limped off during the second half of Tuesday’s night’s fine 2-0 home Checkatrade Trophy win over League One Oldham after hurting a knee while making a magnificent tackle.

Manager Steve Evans said: “Kyle will miss the game – he will be a couple of weeks.

“It’s his knee. It was the nature of the force of the tackle. It was a fantastic tackle and he just twisted slightly.

“We are probably talking 10 days to two weeks, two and half weeks maximum I think.”

The West Brom youngster was at least boosted by the news this week that Tony Pulis has agreed a deal to keep him at the Hawthorns for the next two and a half years.

Howkins had just agreed a deal with Mansfield to complete the rest of the season on loan with the club and Evans said: “I am very grateful to Tony Pulis.

“He has been a mate of mine for 20-odd years in this game and he has always helped when I have asked.

“Kyle could have chosen two or three options - in the league above - and it helps me when Tony Pulis is batting for Mansfield Town.

“When we came in Kyle was injured and suspended at the same time, so we couldn’t get a good look at him.

“We had to work hard with him on his fitness levels to get him up to match speed and I think he was just starting to become outstanding in a couple of games.

“It’s a shame but he will come back in two or three weeks and be outstanding again.”