Mansfield Town defender James Perch will miss the rest of the season after suffering a fractured skull, it has been revealed.

The 35-year-old defender started in the Stags’ opening four League Two games, helping them to seven points.

However, Perch has been absent from Mansfield Town’s last three games, with Nigel Clough’s side falling to defeats at the hands of Swindon Town, Harrogate Town and Walsall.

Now, a damaging blow has emerged on the Mansfield-born ace’s absence.

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As confirmed on the club’s official website, Perch will not play again this season after suffering a fractured skull last month.

It is said he suffered the injury in an “innocuous aerial challenge” during training, with scans revealing a fractured skull.

Upon the confirmation of Perch’s injury, Clough moved to express his devastation regarding the injury, stating that the League Two side will do all they can to help him in his recovery.

Here’s what he had to say:

“It’s devastating news for both James and ourselves. It’s a massive blow.

“As we’ve said all along, we cannot take any chances with this type of injury and are being completely guided by the specialists. We’ll do everything we can to support James throughout his rehabilitation.”

Perch went onto have his say on the matter, stating he is “gutted” that he won’t be able to feature again this season before expressing his thanks to those that have helped him of late.

Who will play in his absence?

With Perch out for the season, the door opens for someone to make a starting spot in Clough’s side their own.

Richard Nartey, Elliott Hewitt, Farrend Rawson, William Forrester and George Cooper are all options at the heart of defence, so it will be interesting to see who nails down their spot in the starting 11.