Stags' injury crisis worsens again

INCREDIBLY, Mansfield Town's injury crisis worsened this week as they prepare to try to spoil Swindon Town's promotion party.

The first team injury list lengthened to nine this week as Stephen Dawson, Gareth Jelleyman, Matt Hamshaw and John Mullins become the latest casualties.

And Hamshaw, who has been suffering with an injury to the back of his knee, is visiting a specialist this week with fears he may need an operation and his season over.

Stags, without a win in seven games, head for Swindon where a win on Saturday and a defeat for Milton Keynes Dons would secure the Robins a return to League One.

"I have never seen an injury list like this," said manager Billy Dearden.

"The eleven I send out at Swindon will be the best 11 we have. I don't know of any Premiership club that could cope with what we are trying to cope with just now.

"It is very difficult to keep smiling but that is what I am trying to do - keep a smile on our faces and keep the players up for it.

"It is a very big game at Swindon on Saturday and we have to go there and try to spoil the party, though we know it is going to be very difficult.

"We did beat them at our end but we didn't have all these injuries then.

"I can't do a lot in training this week as if anyone turned an ankle or something we wouldn't know where to turn.

"I have 13 fit players, including two keepers. Looking at the injured list I can't see more then one - maybe two - perhaps making it back for Saturday

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With Giles Coke, Jake Buxton, Jon D'Laryea, Asa Charlton, Simon Brown already out, they were joined this week by Dawson (groin), Hamshaw (knee), Jelleyman (Achille's tendon) and Mullins (knee).