Sidelined Mansfield Town defensive duo making progress, says David Flitcroft

Mansfield Town's Matt Preston
Mansfield Town's Matt Preston

Defenders Matt Preston and Ryan Sweeney are both progressing in their bids to return to first team action with Mansfield Town.

Stags boss David Flitcroft gave an update on the defensive duo’s fitness ahead of Monday night’s televised derby with Lincoln City.

Flitcroft would like to see the pair back and available for selection but said both individual’s long term health must come first.

On Preston, who has been suffering from a niggling knee injury, Flitcroft said: “I did expect to have Matt Preston back by now.

“He’s been working around the clock with the medical staff.

“There’s something which just isn’t feeling right.

“We’ll probably have to take him for a scan and get to the bottom of it.

“It’s taking too long for me now - he’s missed too many games.

“He’s influential for us, he’s important to us and again when we’ve had that backbone of a back three or back five we’ve been really solid.

“I do feel like we miss him. It’s a little bit frustrating to be honest but I just want him right and back training with us.”

Sweeney is still under treatment for concussion from last weekend’s match at Port Vale.

“It’s a bit of a strange week with having the Sky game on Monday,” said Flitcroft. “It has given us more of a chance to assess him.

“If there is any signs of nausea, sickness or headaches then we start the process again and that’s the difficulty with concussion.

“Some people think it’s overkill but for me it’s not.

“We have got a duty of care as a football club and I as a manager. The medical staff have got to have full autonomy, we’re talking life after football.

“I think it’s right that it gets all the attention it deserves and as professionals we do everything in our power to make sure the player gets right.”

Meanwhile striker Danny Rose is no closer to a return, with Flitcroft expecting him to be sidelined for a further three to four weeks.