Huge Mansfield Town boost as James Perch makes comeback in U23s clash

Mansfield Town were given another huge boost today when it was announced that the experienced James Perch is to make a return to action for the first time in four months when Stags U23s take on Wigan Athletic U23s in the Premier League Cup at Alfreton Town on Wednesday night.

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 10:05 am
James Perch - first step towards a Stags return this week.
James Perch - first step towards a Stags return this week.

After fracturing his skull during a training session in mid-September following an innocuous aerial challenge, it was feared that the 36-year-old would miss the rest of the season.

However, following a positive recent consultation, the former Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United star has now been given the option of returning to competitive action wearing protective head gear.

It is more good news for the Stags in a week that has seen them sign key players John-Joe O'Toole and Lucas Akins and also equal the club record of seven league wins in a row.

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Boss Nigel Clough said: “We had some very encouraging and promising news a few weeks ago when James went for a routine scan.

“It was expected to confirm that the consultants would look at it again towards the end of the season, with nothing more to be done.

“But the specialist said his fracture at this moment in time is now as strong as it would be at the end the season.

“With appropriate head protection, he gave James the choice of starting training with a view to playing again some time towards the end of this month.

“James was ecstatic when he got the news. He has since been involved in training in the past two to three weeks with various levels of contact. He's been able to keep up with physical work, generally, and is in good shape.

“The decision to play is up to James and he is now at the stage where he's scheduled to play 45 minutes on Wednesday.

“It's still relatively early stages and we'll see how he feels with the head protection.

“We've missed his experience, leadership and quality. When he joined back in training, you could see the rest of the players visibly lift having him around. Having him back in training has given us another boost."

Perch will travel with the rest of the Stags U23s to the Impact Arena, Alfreton, this Wednesday night. Kick-off is at 7pm.

Tickets are only available at the turnstiles for the fixture and priced Adult £5, Concessions (16-25) £3, U16s when accompanied by an adult Free, Child aged 12-15 £1. All under 12s must be accompanied by an adult.