Hatters midfielder Mpanzu is ruled out for the season but Luton boss is hopeful Berry might feature in play-offs

Long-serving player is sidelined

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 2:28 pm
Town midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu is out for the rest of the season
Town midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu is out for the rest of the season

Luton boss Nathan Jones has confirmed that midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu is out for the rest of the season after undergoing an operation recently, but that team-mate Luke Berry still has a chance of featuring in the play-off campaign against Huddersfield Town.

The 28-year-old, easily the longest serving player at the club, picked up the knee injury during Town’s trip to their play-off opponents back in April, taken off with 35 minutes gone, and has been absent ever since.

He was seen coming on to the pitch after the full time whistle following the 1-0 win over Reading on Saturday to join in with the post match celebrations, although with his knee in a brace, Jones confirmed his campaign was indeed over.

Speaking to the press today, the Town manager said: “He’s had an operation so he won’t be fit, he’s one we won’t get back.

“It’s just a little cartilage clean up which will keep him out until June, so unless the final gets postponed, we won’t be seeing Pelly.”

Although Mpanzu won’t get the chance to play a part in what would be his fourth promotion at Kenilworth Road should Town reach the Premier League, he is still having an impact around the squad, as Jones continued: “Absolutely, they all do.

“The biggest thing about us is our culture and our environment and we maintain that.

"There's some big, big characters and Pelly is one of those.”

There was better news regarding Berry though, who has made just 13 Championship appearances in a stopstart season, but with six goals, is the club’s third top scorer, highlighting just how his keenly his absence has been felt.

He was another who took to the field at the weekend following the victory over the Royals, although did so with his foot in a boot.

However, Jones added: “He’s a lot closer, boots are precautionary.

“They look far worse, you look like a Stormtrooper in one, but they’re actually precaution and prevention rather than some disaster has happened.

“Luke is a lot closer, he’s just not been able to gather any momentum really as every time he does he kind of breaks down and that stems from the fact that he was injured in pre-season.

“We’ve been disappointed with that as Luke has been a big, big miss.”