Stags boss Adam Murray has revealed Mal Benning’s injury is not as bad as first feared, indicating the player could back playing in the new year.
Benning sustained a knee injury during the 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers on October 17 and it was initially thought he would be sidelined for several months.
But the 21-year-old is not expected to need an operation after seeing a specialist and could be back in contention for first team duties come January.
Murray said it was “excellent” news: “It’s not as bad as what we expected when we got the scan results. We thought it could have been a whole season but we think we’ll have him back in January. He doesn’t need an operation. He’ll be in a brace for 12 weeks.
“He’s young and he’s very, very fit so we’re hoping to have him back soon. It’s great news for the club, it’s great news for Mal and it’s great news for me.”
Following Benning’s injury, Mansfield moved swiftly to bring in defender Blair Adams on loan from neighbours Notts County and Murray has been pleased with the 24-year-old’s form.
“I’m over the moon we’ve got Blair in so even though we’ve lost a good player for a short amount of time we’ve replaced him with a good player,” said Murray.
“If Blair continues to play how he has been then we’re going to have two very good left backs.”
And Murray hinted Adams could be in line for an extended stay at the Once Call Stadium.
He added: “If he continues how he has been doing we’ll put him on a ten-year deal. He’s been fantastic.
“For someone who has not been playing regularly, to do two tough games away from home with all the travelling, credit to him.”