Pelly could face another spell on the sidelines

Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu after being forced off against Plymouth
Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu after being forced off against Plymouth

Hatters midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu could be facing yet another spell on the sidelines after his ankle injury picked up against Plymouth Argyle earlier this month is worst than first feared.

The 22-year-old was handed his first league start of the season in the 2-1 defeat, but had to go off early in the second period after colliding with an advertising hoarding on the stroke of half time.

“We’ve just got to wait for him to get fit and get back, but a timescale, I couldn’t give you one.”

John Still

Boss John Still had originally expected the former West Ham midfielder to be out for a few weeks, but he hasn’t featured since and the manager, who admitted he was lucky not to have broken his ankle in the incident, remains unsure when Ruddock Mpanzu will return.

Speaking to the press this afternoon, the Luton chief said: “Pelly has this problem with his ankle. When we spoke to the physio last Friday, I don’t think any of us realised the seriousness of it, what it could have been, as he could have broken his ankle.

“He really has given it a whack on the hoardings behind the goal, but that’s slightly responding as well now.

“We’ve just got to wait for him to get fit and get back, but a timescale, I couldn’t give you one.”

In the 45 minutes that Ruddock Mpanzu was on the pitch, he showed just exactly what he can offer to the Luton team, particularly going forward, which makes his absence even more frustrating for Still.

The boss continued: “I’m just waiting for him to get fit, because as you all know, I’m a big fan of Pelly’s.

“In the little bit of the game he played, he just showed that he can go past people and make things happen.

“I actually felt for him a little bit, the great run he put in and a cross that resulted in a penalty not given. Well, we had two instances of his crosses that we sent off as you can review these things, contentious decisions, and two have both come back as penalties.

“So I feel for him a bit as he came in and had a greater impact than lots of people might have thought he did.

“It shows what his input was though as he earned us two penalties that the referee didn’t see, but the referee didn’t see a few things as he had a difficult day.”

After a fine start to his Town career, Ruddock Mpanzu has now been restricted to just 11 appearances in the last 12 months, after suffering a lengthy hamstring problem last term.

On whether he will be a player unfortunate enough to have a career blighted by injuries, Still added: “Honestly, I’d be guessing as I don’t know. All that I know is wherever he might have been, he would have had this problem with his hamstring, because it was a problem.

“It wasn’t an injury as such as a bit of bone that had grown. This thing (ankle), when you watch it again, he’s really hit those hoardings and he could, as Simon (Parsell, physiotherapist) says, broke his ankle, it’s quite clear.

“He hasn’t, but lets get him fit now and that might be a conversation for another years time.”