Stags hoping injury crisis doesn’t worsen

Matt Rhead - Pic by: Richard Parkes

Matt Rhead - Pic by: Richard Parkes

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Unbelievably, injury-ravaged Mansfield Town face worries over three more of their senior players ahead of Saturday’s visit of Cambridge United.

Matt Rhead, Simon Heslop and Fergus Bell all had to leave the field during Saturday’s gutsy 1-1 draw at Portsmouth.

Rhead is having a scan on a hamstring problem this afternoon while Heslop (swollen foot) and Bell (head injury and damaged shoulder) remain a worry.

With John Dempster, Liam Hearn, Ryan Tafazolli and Luke Jones already sidelined, skipper Adam Murray suspended, and Rob Taylor (illness) and Chris Clements (injury) making up the numbers on the bench, despite not being fully fit, it is a bleak time for Paul Cox’s men.

“If those three are not available that would be 10 senior players missing for Saturday,” said first team coach Micky Moore.

“Matt Rhead is having a scan on the hamstring - we are just hoping for good news – and we are hoping Fergus and Simon might be back training with us on Thursday.

“We will just have to see how they are. Fergus took a bang to the head which wasn’t concussion as we first feared as that would have ruled him for seven to 10 days.

“He is still having ongoing treatment on his shoulder but the head injury is more important in this day and age. Simon still has a problem with his foot and is still having treatment.

“With so many players out injured and Adam Murray suspended for three games it’s difficult. But most teams will go through this.

“You look down the list and see we have six or seven senior players missing and it’s unbelievable.

“Hopefully we will get them all back in a rush and have a clean bill of health.

“To be fair, Chris and Matt do a great job and are working really hard with them in the physios’ room. The lads are in morning and afternoon for treatment. They are trying to get back as quickly as they can.”

At least Stags welcomed loanee keeper Dimitar Evtimov back from parent club Nottingham Forest after treatment on a groin injury and both Jones and Tafazolli could be back in training within the next 10 days, which would be a massive boost.

Saturday’s visitors Cambridge will be buzzing after thrashing Oxford United 5-1 last weekend and Moore added: “Cambridge are a good side.

“We played them last year when I was at Nuneaton and they were top of the league. Jez George has done a good job there.

“Being their first year out of the Conference, they’ve got that winning mentality and have started off really well. I expected them to have a good season this year.

“But by and large we’ve done well at home this year and it will be as difficult a task for them as us. We are a difficult side to beat on our home pitch.”

After Saturday Stags face a trip to managerless Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday (7.45pm), who this week parted company with Rob Edwards after their seventh defeat left them bottom of League Two.

Mansfield have received an initial allocation of 200 tickets for the covered Cowshed Stand (unreserved seating), behind the goal. More tickets are available, subject to request.

Now on general sale, they are priced £15 adults, £9 senior citizens (65+), young persons (17-22) £6 U17s, £5 accompanied U12s and £4 for accompanied U7s.

Supporters will also be able to pay on the night.