Mahon injury blow for Town

ALAN Mahon could be out of action for up to six weeks after limping off with a hamstring injury just 12 minutes into Ipswich Town's single-goal victory over Stoke City on Saturday, writes Derek Davis.

ALAN Mahon could be out of action for up to six weeks after limping off with a hamstring injury just 12 minutes into Ipswich Town's single-goal victory over Stoke City on Saturday, writes Derek Davis.

Matt Richards fired in the winner two minutes before half-time. But Town's sixth win in seven league games, and their first home Division One clean sheet since April, came at a price.

And there is further injury woe with skipper Jim Magilton a major doubt for the game at Crystal Palace tomorrow after a calf and shin injury proved too painful for him to come out for the second half against Stoke.

On-loan Blackburn Rovers winger Mahon has been an instant hit with Blues fans since joining the club five weeks ago and has made it clear he wants to stay. Town will find out today if Mahon has suffered a tear in the hamstring, or that it merely went into spasm. The latter could mean his playing again by Saturday but anything worse will see him out of action for between four to six weeks.


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But cash-strapped Town would still have to foot his wages bill until his loan period expires at the beginning of December.

Blues boss Joe Royle last night said: "We have taken him in sickness and in health. He is with us for the full three months so will not go back to Blackburn just yet. We will not know the full extent of the injury until he has had a scan on Monday morning but the initial worry is he has torn the hamstring and that means between four to six weeks out.

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"It is a blow to us because we will miss him, but we will wait and see."

Mahon knows his only chance of a future at Blackburn is if manager Graeme Souness leaves.

After Souness denied reports he was going to take over at Spurs, it looks like a managerial change is unlikely for the moment.

Meanwhile, Magilton's 200th appearance for Town ended in agony at half- time when he suffered a set-back after getting late clearance to play – although a shin and calf injury was still painful.

Royle said: "Jim was brave to play but you could see he was not himself. Hopefully by bringing him off at half-time we have prevented further damage. But his calf is solid and filled with fluid and he is definitely touch-and-go for the Palace game. After that, we will see."

Tommy Miller will stay in the squad to play Palace tomorrow but there are concerns about his lasting the full 90 minutes. Ian Westlake will also start if Magilton joins Mahon on the missing list with Matt Bloomfield and Antonio Murray hoping for call-ups.

Matt Richards' first senior goal was the 100th for Town under Royle and the win pushes them up a place into a sixth-spot play- off position, leap-frogging arch-rivals Norwich City.

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