Mansfield Town defender Stephen McLaughlin is ‘itching to get back’ after a six-week spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
The 32-year-old last featured in Stags’ 4-1 win at home to Doncaster Rovers at the end of January, in which he was withdrawn due to his current injury on seven minutes, being replaced by Kieran Wallace.
The Irish born left-back has appeared on 28 occasions this term for Nigel Clough’s men.
Speaking in a news conference at RH Academy this morning on his injury, Stephen said: “It’s not too bad, I’m training today so we’ll see how it goes.
“It’s my first day back in so we’ll just have to assess it (my injury) after training.
“Hopefully I’ll get a full week of training under my belt and be available for the weekend [when we visit Stockport County].
“[The games since I’ve been out injured], I’ve watched them all, [the lads], they’ve been good, very good. Credit to the boys, as we’ve said all season, the depth in our squad is showing up in the last few weeks.”
McLaughlin is one of a number of players receiving treatment recently from physio Tom Whittamore.
Speaking about the business of the treatment room, he said: “It’s difficult to get everybody seen. You’re just in earlier and leave later. We’ve all got our time and we’ve been working very hard to get back. Unfortunately the gym is full but we’re all striving to get back as quick as we can.
“I am [very eager to get back on the pitch], I’ve missed it. After watching the boys, it’s been a tough couple of weeks for them [and] you can see it in their legs and I just want to get back and help them out.
“It’s taken longer than I expected, which is even more frustrating for me, but I’m hoping now that it’s behind me and I can get a good session in today and I can come through it well.”
Speaking on Mansfield’s squad in his absence, the defender said: “Jordan [Bowery] and Kieran [Wallace] have done unbelievable in my position so I will have to fight for my position.”