Stags player needed 40 stitches after ‘friendly’ injury

TWO of the three players left in hospital after the Stags’ friendly debacle at Ilkeston on Wednesday will definitely miss the start of the league season, Mansfield Town revealed on Thursday.

Defenders Richie Sutton, Martin Riley and John Thompson were all seriously injured after clashes with home player coach Gary Ricketts, before manager Paul Cox ordered his players off the field after an hour of a game they were winning 4-2.

The final straw came when Thompson, who received a broken nose and over 40 stitches, was sent clattering into metal fencing surrounding the pitch.

Now Thompson and Sutton (shoulder) have been ruled out of the home BSBP curtain-raiser against Bath in 10 days time.

However, Riley may return to action that Saturday - but will miss Saturday’s final pre-season friendly at Chasetown this weekend.

Meanwhile, Ilkeston have suspended Ricketts following the incidents.

Ilkeston FC chairman Dave Mantle said: “We are obviously upset about any player being seriously injured and particularly wish John Thompson a speedy recovery.

“Kevin Wilson and I have already met to discuss Gary Ricketts’ part in the incidents but we need to gather more evidence and speak to the player himself before deciding our next course of action.”