A timely and welcome sight for Stags fans saw Danny Rose return to the Mansfield Town squad ahead of schedule on Saturday.
Rose had said he was unlikely to be considered until he had seen his specialist again early next week.
So it was a surprise to see him on the bench in Saturday’s sparkling 4-1 win at Exeter City where Tyler Walker and CJ Hamilton both hit braces.
Rose has stepped up his training as he recovers from a double break of his jaw and boss David Flitcroft is cautiously re-introducing him to the rough and tumble.
“I didn’t really want to put him on,” said Flitcroft.
“I could have put him on for the last 10 minutes, but the two boys were potentially on a hat-trick and I just felt it would give him another week to get his confidence back.
“He has had a bit of contact this week, so we have him in and around it and that was good to see.”
He added: “We had the young boy Jimmy Knowles in and around the training the last two days before Exeter too.
“It’s brilliant to see him, Zayn (Hakeem) and Alistair (Smith) having that young energy and no fear.”