Matty Blair: Mansfield winger to miss rest of the season

Matty Blair
Blair was a member of the Fleetwood team that won promotion to the Football League in 2012

Mansfield winger Matty Blair will miss the rest of the season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury against Carlisle on Saturday.

Blair was carried off on a stretcher in the 69th minute of his side's 2-1 defeat, after falling awkwardly.

The 25-year-old was making just his third appearance for the club after joining from Fleetwood on 14 January.

"We feel like we have run over about eight black cats at the minute," said Mansfield boss Adam Murray.

Blair's contract with the League Two strugglers will expire at the end of the season.

"Matty will be out for six to nine months. It's devastating for me as manager, the rest of the lads, but most importantly the boy himself. He has come in and has been a breath of fresh air and for such a nothing incident we are losing one of our 'X factor players'," Murray told the club website.external-link

"He's gutted. Obviously, he hasn't taken it well but you wouldn't expect anybody to. As a person, he is a great bloke and a true professional and he'll be somebody who will be back sooner rather than later."

The Stags are next to bottom of League Two, with just 28 points from their 27 matches.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Adam Smith will return to Leicester City when his loan spell expires on Saturday.

The 23-year-old has made four appearances for the Stags, who signed Newport keeper Lenny Pidgeley on loan on transfer deadline day.