UPDATED: Charles out for at least a month for Hatters, but Shaw, Lawless and Henry are all in contention for Macclesfield visit

Hatters defender Anthony Charles will miss Saturday’s visit of Macclesfield Town and is facing a month to six weeks on the sidelines after hurting his shoulder in Tuesday night’s 2-0 home win over Southport, writes Mark Wood.

Thursday, 15th August 2013, 5:00 pm
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Boss John Still confirmed that the experienced centre-half will be facing a spell on the sidelines at this afternoon’s press conference, but there was better news elsewhere with captain Ronnie Henry 50-50 for the match and midfielder Alex Lawless and striker Jon Shaw both fit.

Shaw will need a hernia operation, but Luton will be able to manage that injury while they search for a solution, which could well explain their interest in Swindon Town striker Paul Benson.

Young defender Alex Lacey looks likely to fill in for Charles, as Still said: “Anthony has hurt his shoulder. We don’t know exactly. He has seen the doc and he has been to hospital. I think the best it will be is four weeks and at the worst it will be six weeks.

“So that’s a little bit of an issue for us. Alex Lacey has done OK.

“I’m disappointed really for Charlo because he’s trained near enough all pre-season and just hyper-extended his knee and it’s put him a little bit behind but not too far.

“He only missed one game and came in and played Saturday and was doing OK and this happens so I’m disappointed for him. But you get disappointments in your life and you have to overcome it, but it gives Alex a chance for maybe an extended run. He hadn’t really done much wrong.

“He didn’t play great on Saturday, but who did play great on Saturday? It was just a case really of perhaps looking at a more experienced team for the home game, taking into account as I always say sometimes expectation can affect the younger ones more so than the older ones so that was the reason for the change, nothing else.”

Henry’s availability is very much in the balance as Still described him as “50/50”, but Shaw should be available as the Town chief continued: “He’s got a hernia so it does need to be done, but we’ll pick our time to do it.

“We haven’t got to rush into doing it, he can play, but we’ll probably pick our time on it. And I’ve got something in mind that I’m trying to work out and in the next few days I’m hoping that will work out and then we can find a date for him.”

But there was no more news on Luton’s loan move for Benson, as Still conceded: “Not particularly at the moment, no.”

Midfielder Jonathan Smith looks like to fill in again at right-back if Henry is unavailable and Still confirmed he isn’t looking to bolster there just now.

He said: “No, I think we have a strong squad here and Smudge came in and played right-back a couple of games last year and done really, really well, and once again he didn’t do great Saturday, but as I said who did do great Saturday? No-one.

“He done a lot better on Tuesday, so at the moment I don’t think we need to do that.”

Despite not playing a single game in pre-season, last term’s player of the season Alex Lawless is pushing for a place in the squad after playing 70 minutes and netting twice in Luton’s reserves’ 2-1 victory over Peterborough United yesterday.

Still added: “He played in the reserves on Wednesday for 70 minutes and did really, really well. He’s a fit lad anyway. I think possibly one more game for him will see him where he would like to be. He won’t be super fit, but he’ll be fit enough to be involved.

“He done a little bit more pre-season than people think, but he didn’t have any games, but he’s an experienced player and I wouldn’t rule him out being on the bench. I’m not going to jump into that I will have a look and see how he is tomorrow, he is quite good today but he might not be as good tomorrow as he is today so we will have a look, but it’s possible.”