Taft joy, but Stags setback as Howkins is ruled out of Newport game

Mansfield Town's Kyle Howkins'Picture by Dan Westwell
Mansfield Town's Kyle Howkins'Picture by Dan Westwell

Mansfield Town had mixed news on their injured defenders this week as George Taft came through his first practice game, but Kyle Howkins suffered a setback.

Loanee Howkins, who has been out with a knee injury, was hoping to get through an U23s game with parent club West Brom to be fit enough to play for the Stags against Newport County on Saturday, but had to come off at the interval.

However, Taft, struggling long term with a hamstring problem, successfully played in an inter-squad gaame on the main pitch.

“George played and he came through really well,” said manager Steve Evans.

“I am delighted with him. He is getting fitter by the day.

“Unfortunately, the opposite to that, Kyle came off at half-time with a little niggle at Middlesbrough in his game for West Brom. So that’s a little set-back for him.

“But George has come through. He’s under our medical care here so he’s getting the best of everything.

“We played on the main pitch here and had a really competitive game between two teams, it was a good game to sit and watch.

“George is probably still a week or two away from being able to compete to be in. He’s good enough, but is he ready enough for a place on the bench? Maybe?”

On Howkins, he added: “We are still waiting. I think he was getting re-scanned yesterday, so we will wait on the results.

“When someone here hears there is a re-scan they get a bit worried. We don’t know if it’s just a niggle and a little set-back of a few days like he had before. Sometimes that can be the case.

“All we know is he came off feeling a knock. At that level if you feel something you come off.

“It will knock him back if it’s his knee, but we are hoping it’s not.

“Until the medical team tell us what it is we are pretty much guessing like everyone else.”