Still hopes Pelly’s injury nightmare is almost over

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Hatters boss John Still believes the end could be in sight for midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu’s injury nightmare.

The 22-year-old has been on the sidelines for most of the last five months, as he hasn’t started a league game since October 25, when he came off against Northampton.

“He’s had a problem with his hamstrings and if you look at Pelly’s legs, he’s got massive legs.”

John Still

Ruddock Mpanzu last featured in the 1-0 win over Carlisle on February 14 where he suffered another yet reaction as Still said: “He’s trained and will play a development game this week. We were getting him to a point where he could play in development games, he was fine, then he played a first team game and not quite right.

“He’s had a problem with his hamstrings and if you look at Pelly’s legs, he’s got massive legs.

“The power that he uses and sometimes it’s only when he’s explosive it tells. He’s been all right without being bang on, and its been so important for me to be bang on.

“He played the other week, came on and within seconds, something wasn’t quite right.

“That was a blow, we had to get over that one, give it a touch more time again and we feel we’ve got to the bottom of it so he can start playing some development games.

“When Pelly comes back he’s not going to go ‘smash’. So it’s trying to find a way with them. We have to work it right, we have to and if we can do that, we make a couple of adjustments.”

There was better news on striker Paul Benson, who featured against Biggleswade Town in the Beds Senior Cup last night.

Still is hoping that the forward will be available for first team duties soon and add to a squad that’s already welcomed back Luke Guttridge and Alex Lawless.

He added: “Paul’s had another development game and done really, really well. He probably needs one more, which will be next week.

“Alex is getting fitter, he’d been out for a long time as he came back and was then out again.

“We’ve tried to go steady with Alex and Gutts, as Gutts is getting back to the level of fitness.

“Saturday, Tuesday is not ideal with Gutts in his present condition, but once he gets fit, fit, he’ll be fine.

“Gutts, Benno, Lawless and Pelly have been massive misses for us, so them getting back is helping.

“Not having two centre halves was a massive miss for three or four games, (Nathan) Doyle too, they’re big players for us.

“When I put all that together, they’re all factors maybe why we haven’t been as commanding as I think we can be.

“But it’s up to other players to step in and grasp that. Is that easy? No, it’s not easy, it’s very, very difficult, but if they want to make players, they’ve got to make that transition.

“People coming back is going to help us, but I think we can help them a little bit as well.”