It looks almost inevitable Mansfield Town boss John Dempster will now have to delve into the transfer market before the 2nd September deadline as his early-season problems mount.
With key trio Bobby Olejnik, Craig Davies and Andy Cook already on the treatment table, influential veteran star Neal Bishop could now be out for up to three weeks with a swollen Achilles tendon while Hayden White, who only passed a late fitness test last night, also limped off near the end of the 3-2 home defeat by Leyton Orient after a heavy challenge.
READ THE MATCH REPORT FROM THE ORIENT DEFEAT
SEE A GALLERY OF FANS PHOTOS FROM LAST NIGHT
With midfield pair Dion Donohue and Jacob Mellis also suspended indefinitely by the club over a disciplinary matter, little chance of resolving it before the deadline, and no idea what the pair’s futures hold at the club, Dempster has an early growing crisis to deal with.
Losing last season’s player of the year is his latest blow, and Dempster said: “Neal is struggling with a swollen Achilles.
“When they swell up they can be quite tricky so we’ve got to look after him.
“Hayden White passed a fitness test before the game, which was good to see. At times he was excellent tonight. So to see him come off at the end is concerning.
“We had a young bench tonight – and it’s great to see a pathway for our young players. But we might have to look at some reinforcements if we continue to pick up these little injuries. We can’t lose many more.
“You look at some of the players we’re bringing on – if we are bringing them on for the first team they have got to be good enough.
“I believe the likes of Alistair Smith and, obviously CJ Hamilton, are good enough. But we do look a little light on numbers.”
Dempster said he did not know yet if or how quickly he would move back into the transfer market, saying: “I will have to discuss this now with the staff and the areas we might need to strengthen and I will also have to speak to the CEO.”