Mansfield Town await news on key injured trio ahead of big Easter games

Promotion-chasing Mansfield Town are hoping for better news on three key injured players ahead of their crucial Easter programme at home to Sutton United (Friday) and away to Carlisle United (Monday).

Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 4:27 pm

Stephen McLaughlin (hamstring) last weekend joined Rhys Oates (thigh) and Jamie Murphy (hamstring) on the treatment table and boss Nigel Clough said; “We are getting an update from the physio almost daily.

“We lost Stephen McLaughlin on Saturday and we will have to see how he is, but he will be a doubt at the moment for Friday. You never know.

“He didn't pull his hamstring. It was just a strain and it can be a sort of neural, nervy thing.

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Stephen McLaughlin - latest injury worry for Stags.

“He definitely felt something as he would normally leave it until half-time with only two or three minutes to go.”

He added: “Murphy and Oates are coming on well and shouldn't be too far off – we will have to see how close they are for Friday. They are in with a shout.

“But then we have the dilemma whether we put them back out there, as important as it is, then risk possibly losing them for the last four or five games.

"We will take Tom (Whittamore) the physio's guidance and what he thinks and the players' themselves.

“We will leave them until the last minute.”

On two longer term injuries, he added: “Ollie Clarke is recovering well from the small procedure he had on his groin.

“We would hope he will be back before the end of the season.

“Kellan Gordon is also back on the grass doing one to one work. He's not too far off joining in. So we are hoping towards the end of season we will have everybody available if it does go to the play-offs.”

Clough thinned his squad down in January and last weekend was one substitute short – and he admits he could be two short this weekend at worst.

But he said: “We should still have enough though we are conscious we can't afford any more injuries.

“You can't cover all the bases. You just hope that by putting the squad of 19 players or so in place we did, it would be enough to cover us.

“Now we are facing four or five injuries it makes it a little bit difficult, but we've still got enough within that I think. And the quality and versatility within that 19 makes it a little bit easier.”