JOHN Thompson, pictured left, has been given the all-clear by specialists to return to action.
But the former Irish international defender will still spend the next fortnight at Lilleshall National Rehabilitation Centre to monitor his return to training.
Seen as the club’s star summer signing, Thompson suffered horrendous facial injuries in the pre-season game at Ilkeston which delayed his debut until mid-November.
However, he has since suffered secondary pains in his neck and arm which, are thought to be linked with the challenge at Ilkeston, and visited a specialist last week who, this week, provided hope.
“John has had the all-clear from the specialist which is good news,” said boss Paul Cox.
“We knew what we were bringing into the club when we signed him, but John has had one of those seasons and the pre-season injury has come back to haunt him.
“He will be happy when he can mentally and physically go into a football match knowing he is 100 per cent.
“The problem has been with his neck and right shoulder and arm. He was losing a little bit of strength there and with those kind of injuries and symptoms you have to be very, very careful.
“He will now spend two weeks at Lilleshall where they will monitor him and, when he comes back, knowing John, he will want to be involved right away. He won’t want to stand twiddling his thumbs if he is fit.
“We hope we will have him back for the Darlington match weekend.”
Stags have also welcomed Rhys Day back into training after the unlucky centre half’s latest injury problems.