Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft says it’s too early to decide whether defender Zander Diamond and midfielder Jacob Mellis will be fit for our upcoming local derby against Notts County after the duo sustained injuries in Saturday's draw with Colchester United.
Winger Alfie Potter returned to training this morning after missing Stags’ last two games with a hamstring injury, however skipper Diamond and artful midfielder Mellis picked up knocks in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to the U's.
And the manager has admitted that it’s too early to say whether the duo will be available for Saturday’s local derby against Notts County at Meadow Lane, but hopes to have wideman Potter in training for the rest of the week.
“It’s too soon. There’s been a slight twinge in [Zander Diamond’s] hamstring. He’s being assessed today but we’ll wait until probably Wednesday/Thursday to really commit to that. With it being Monday, it’s too early to comment on that,” the Stags’ chief said.
“Jacob’s ankle’s come up. It was a nasty knock he took. The medical staff are saying really he’s done more damage by staying on it and staying on the pitch. I think his adrenaline got him through it.
“There were a couple of times when he went down and him possibly staying on the pitch might have just added to the swelling and the bleeding in that area.
“He’s had the Game Ready on (an injury recovery aide), he’s had the ice, he’s had the compression and we have got some swelling out of it. It’s another injury that time will time will take the ultimate decision.
"The medical staff have done great with him so Alfie’s trained today and hopefully we’ll have him for the rest of the week."
“Alfie’s trained with us today. He did all his finals last week and did all his end-stage rehab. The medical staff have done great with him so Alfie’s trained today and hopefully we’ll have him for the rest of the week.”
In terms of long-term absentees, centre-half David Mirfin has been out of action since the Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Blackpool at the beginning of December.
And although the former Scunthorpe United man is unlikely to feature in the near future, the boss has re-integrated the 32-year-old into the squad to keep his mental wellbeing high.
“I’ve brought him back into the squad and mixing with the players and having lunch with the players. [We’re] making sure he’s watching the games. He’s got fantastic experience.
“We want the players to get around him and it’s important that he feels part of what we’re doing because there’s no worse place as a player. You want to play games, all players do, and it’s important the supporters understand that.
“I always say to players that are injured: ‘sit up there and don’t get bored with it. Don’t just think you’re watching it; try and study. Try and study the way the team move around the pitch, what centre-forwards’ movement is and good defensive play.’
“I’ve got Mirf doing that and I’ll speak to him every Monday to see his take on it because he’s got fantastic vast experience of being successful.”
Stags have sold over 4,000 tickets for Saturday’s local derby against Notts County and the manager has dubbed the following ‘incredible’ for the match which will pit third against fifth in Sky Bet League Two.
“That’s quite incredible. We were looking at 4,000 fans the other day at a home game and then we’ve got 4,000 fans that are watching us at a local derby, I think it’s incredible.
“We’ve got to go and make sure we represent. The home fans have energised me here. We’ve not given them the points that we want to give them yet, but it’s a case of going to Notts County and really trying to drive that forwards.
“The supporters here have backed them all season and that’s been a feature of the results we’ve had.”
Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager’s full news conference.