Mansfield Town are hoping midfielder Willem Tomlinson could be back quicker than the anticipated month out after he damaged knee ligaments in last week’s friendly with his former club Blackburn Rovers.
Tomlinson had come on as a half-time substitute but had to go off after a crunching tackle saw him unable to run off the pain.
A scan revealed slight ligament damage and he was expected to be missing for a month, but assistant boss Lee Glover said: “I think he might be back quicker than that. He’s a young lad who responds to treatment.
“We were disappointed as Will was looking very, very good in pre-season. We were liking the way he was shaping up. But these things happen.
“We have other players in the squad and it’s an opportunity for other players to stake a claim.”