Specialist trip to decide if Mansfield Town midfielder Anthony Howell needs surgery

Stags 2012-2013''Anthony Howell
Stags 2012-2013''Anthony Howell

Stags midfielder Anthony Howell faces a nervy trip to see a knee specialist this week to see if he can continue to be a part of Mansfield Town’s promotion battle this season.

Howell was in the form of his life when he picked up a knee injury in training. And he was honest enough to tell the manager and team mates he was worried he would not get through the game at Luton last weekend and pulled out during the pre-match warm-up.

Manager Paul Cox admitted Howell would be a massive loss if he was ruled out.

He said: “We think there is a slight tear in there and Anthony is having the knee scanned in the next 24-48 hours. We hope he is going to be OK.

“He has been one of our better players this season. I know he will have been gutted to miss the last two games, let alone be out for a longer period of time.

“But we have to prepare for Saturday without him and it has given Chris Clements a chance to come back in.

“To admit he may not get through the Luton game and pull out was a tough thing for a player to do. But it’s the mark of what Anthony is about. No one is bigger then the club and he is an honest boy.

“I hope he gets good news from the specialist and is able to go on to the end of the season and then maybe have a bit of surgery on it. But you have to think about the lad himself, and if he’s not fully right then he may have to have the surgery sooner. If it’s good news then happy days.”

Clements certainly came in and impressed and Cox is not worrying too much if he loses Howell’s services for a while.

“There is no panic over the situation, he said. “Of course Anthony will be missed. But we have ‘Clem’ and Jamie Tolley, who has become a forgotten man here, had a fantastic game against Notts County in the reserves on Wednesday. We can also go out and use the loan market.”