MANAGER: It looks like he'll be out for while

The Thursday afternoon pre-Forest Green press conference gave United boss Keith Millen the opportunity to provide an update on defender Kelvin Mellor, who left the field of play during the first half following a coming together with Hartlepool’s Marcus Carver.

“As I said the other day, it doesn’t look good,” he said. “We’re still waiting to hear exactly the results and what treatment he might need.

“He’s got a lot of swelling there which hasn’t gone down, it’s actually got worse. He’s had a scan and we’re just waiting for the doctor to give us a report on what he’s seen.

“We’re hoping it isn’t too bad, but it looks like he’ll be out for a while.”

“It’s a blow for us, but a real blow for him, firstly,” he added. “He’s a great lad, a really good professional. He sets high standards in his work, and the last two or three games have probably been his best games.

“It’s a big blow for him, a big blow for the group. We’ve just got to wait and see how bad it is, and hopefully not too long-term and something he can recover from as quick as possible.

“He’s well liked as well within the group. People like that you don’t want this sort of thing to happen to. I’ll be speaking to him later and seeing how he is.”

As shown on Tuesday night, early transfer window activity could mean that Joel Senior is a ready made replacement, having made two appearances already.

“He’s ready, and if he starts it will be a good challenge for him,” he confirmed. “I think he’s had a couple of little bits now, at Harrogate he came on, and Tuesday would have settled him down a lot, because you’re going to be nervous at the start.

“He showed glimpses of what I’ve seen when we brought him into the club, he’s an attacking full-back with good athleticism and quality on the ball.

“He needs to learn more about how I want to defend, we’re trying to drip that into him slowly rather than too much information. He’ll be fine.

“If he starts, he’s fit enough, strong enough, played enough football in his career, it’s not like it’s his first season in football.

“I’m expecting good things from him. Until you start him, you don’t know. If he does it will be a good opportunity for him to show us what he can do.”

And on the returning Zach Clough, he told us: “He’s knocking on the door - I’ve had a few knocks on the door today, actually. He trained today, trained really well.

“Sam Fishburn’s better, after his little rest. He had a little bit of tendonitis and was also maybe a little bit tired, because he had that heavy period where he did a lot of work for us.

“Sometimes young lads have a week out, they need that mentally as much as physically to freshen up again.

“Even Gime Toure’s on the grass now, starting to do some football training, on his own. He’s getting fitter and hopefully he might be a few weeks away.”

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