Mansfield duo Jack Thomas and Kyle Howkins could return for Notts Co derby clash

Mansfield duo Jack Thomas and Kyle Howkins could return for Notts Co derby clash

Jack Thomas and Kyle Howkins could return to the Mansfield squad for the derby visit of Notts County.

Although midfielder Thomas (groin) and centre-half Howkins (hamstring) have only returned to full training this week, Stags boss Adam Murray was not ruling out the possibility of either of them being involved in Saturday lunchtime's clash.

Mansfield have not scored a home goal in four matches and Murray faces a selection dilemma up front. His team have not found the net since dropping Matt Green three games ago but the 29-year-old hit the winner at Port Vale on Tuesday night, when Darius Henderson was excellent, and Pat Hoban has produced two decent displays in Green's absence.

Alex Iacovitti, on loan from Nottingham Forest, will miss out once more as he is still away on Scotland Under-21 duty.

Notts County, beaten 5-0 in this fixture last season, will check on the fitness of captain Michael O'Connor and goalkeeper Adam Collin.

O'Connor sustained a minor groin injury last week while Collin had to withdraw from the warm-up at Rochdale ahead of the EFL Trophy tie due to illness.

Stanley Aborah is likely to come into central midfield should O'Connor miss out while Scott Loach is ready to fill in should Collin remain absent.

Magpies manager John Sheridan's only other concern is Curtis Thompson, who is still coming back from an ankle injury, but may be back in contention towards the end of the month.