Season over for Mansfield Town loanee Nicky Ajose, but Stags boss stays positive

Mansfield Town's Nicky Ajose: Picture by Steve Flynn/AHPIX.com, Football: Skybet League Two  match Mansfield Town -V- Tranmere Rovers at One Call Stadium, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England on copyright picture Howard Roe 07973 739229
Mansfield Town's Nicky Ajose: Picture by Steve Flynn/AHPIX.com, Football: Skybet League Two match Mansfield Town -V- Tranmere Rovers at One Call Stadium, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England on copyright picture Howard Roe 07973 739229

Striker Nicky Ajose’s season looks to be over at Mansfield Town after he learned he will need a cartilage operation.

Ajose has struggled for form and regular football since arriving on loan from Charlton Athletic, where his contract ends this summer.

It is yet another injury blow for Stags boss David Flitcroft, but he said he looked at injuries in a positive way and saw them as an opportunity for another player, Ajose’s departure seeing teenager Jimmy Knowles promoted to the first team squad.

“Nicky has tweaked his meniscus on his knee,” said Flitcroft.

“He’s had a scan at Charlton and the injury will probably keep him out four to six weeks.

“It does need minor surgery on it to take a bit of the floating meniscus away, so we will probably lose Nicky now for the rest of the season.

“It helps with the timing of Danny Rose coming back early. We have had all sorts of injuries this season but the squad has dealt with them really well.

“But it gives Jimmy Knowles an opportunity – that’s what injuries do.”

He added: “You can get downhearted by injuries or you can say they gives someone else an opportunity to come into the squad and give us that verve.

“It is another injury, but it’s one we will accommodate and move on from.”

Flitcroft refused to be drawn as to whether Ajose had shown enough in his loan spell to be on the manager’s summer striker shopping list.

“I won’t comment on that as I have to concentrate on this group and the Cambridge game,” he said.

“There are quite a few players out of contract so I don’t think it’s fair on other players to comment and also not fair on Charlton as he is a Charlton player at the minute.

“He is someone who I think will court quite a lot of interest in the summer.

“I am focused on what have got and the job in hand.”