Justin will miss Stags clash with calf injury

Town defender James Justin
Town defender James Justin

Young defender James Justin faces a few weeks on the sidelines after injuring his calf in the warm-up against Leyton Orient last weekend.

The 18-year-old full back was down to start at the Matchroom Stadium, only to pull up beforehand, with Stephen O’Donnell replacing him.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones said: “He did something to his calf, the lower calf, just felt a little pop in it, so it’s going to be a few weeks before he’s back which is a shame as the lad was doing well.

“But all credit to Stephen O’Donnell, he’s a consummate professional.

“I’m not saying it was harsh he was left out, he was left out for the right reasons, because he had a dip and others had been showing levels in training that were fantastic, so we give them opportunities.

“That’s the type of competition we want though and anyone who wants to be elite in anything they do needs competition as any kind of elite performance needs elite practice, so we have that here.

“The strength is there all the way through and we’ve had to work hard to get that.

“We’re very thankful to the board, to the backing we’ve had from the chief executive and we don’t take that for granted as they’re a great group.

“He (O’Donnell) came in and did fantastically well, so it gives Stephen a good chance now.

Hatters have very few other injury concerns other than Justin though, as Jones continued: “It’s been a good week, we’ve had time to work with them which is always nice as we like to do that.

“We’ve had good preparation, our squad is stronger now as we’re almost at full strength.

“Danny Green’s a bit longer, but Jack Senior’s far closer to coming back, so it’s good.”

Midfielder Glen Rea showed no reaction to his knee injury after completing 90 minutes against the O’s as Jones said: “He’s that type of player, we know what we’re going to get from him.

“There’s lots of improvement still to come from him, but it’s good to have him back as he does give us that element of security.”