THE Newport County AFC injury crisis has deepened ahead of tomorrow’s League Two clash with Stevenage with an outbreak of mumps in the squad.

Midfielder Taylor Maloney, who is on loan from Charlton Athletic, was the first to contract the viral disease and it’s feared that he has passed it on to other members of the squad.

Mumps, which can cause a fever, muscle pain and headaches as well as painful swelling of the glands around the face, is highly contagious and spreads rapidly among people living in close quarters And that is the last thing that manager Michael Flynn needs on top of a lengthy injury list.

Centre-back Mickey Demetriou has returned to training after recovering from a broken leg but he may not be ready to start at Rodney Parade tomorrow.

Fellow defenders Kyle Howkins, Dan Leadbitter and Scot Bennett are also injured, as are midfielders Joss Labadie, Corey Whitely, Robbie Willmott and Keanu Marsh-Brown, and striker Ade Azeez.

“Missing key players is really hammering us,” said Flynn.

“There have been injuries, suspensions and illnesses as well.

“Mumps has made a comeback. I remember having that when I was about six and that’s the last I heard about it!

“Taylor Maloney had mumps and it’s very contagious in the early stages so we’ve got to be careful there’s not another outbreak.

“We’ve got a bad injury list and I will not know until the last minute if one or two are coming back, but it will only be one or two.”

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Having lost Willmott to a recurrence of his calf injury in the warm-up at Bradford City last week, Flynn is wary of rushing anyone back too soon.

“Labadie, Corey, Mickey and Benno are not far away,” said the Exiles boss.

“Whether they’re ready [for this game] is a different story.

“If I risk them now and they’re out for another four weeks, we’ve still got four games to play [before the transfer window opens].

“And the FA Cup [tie at Millwall on January 4] makes it five, because we’re probably not going to get anything done until after that game.

“You’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons and I’ll never put a player’s career at risk.

“They’ve got to pass all the tests and if they do then they’ll be involved.

“If not, I’ve got to deal with the cards I’ve got.

“Mickey has come through everything; he’s done a full week’s training,” he added.

“It’s just, when do you put him in? We could put him in and he’d play the next 50 games and be fine. Or he could get a bad challenge.

“You can’t predict injuries; all you can do is try to prevent them. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Flynn also gave an update on his other injured players, including Howkins who suffered a broken cheekbone in last month’s FA Cup win at Maldon & Tiptree.

“Ade Azeez is probably about four weeks off, Leadbitter will be six weeks, Robbie probably another three weeks and Kyle another four weeks.

“He’s finished the concussion protocol and he’ll be non-contact for another two weeks, but he can train next week.

“Labs (hamstring) should be alright, hopefully, for next week.

“It’s frustrating, but we’re not the only club in the country who have got injuries.

“We’ve just got to ride through it and get to January, when I’ve got to do all I can to strengthen the squad.”

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