Keith Milen has admitted Lukas Jensen will be out for an unknown period of time after injuring his wrist in training.
The Danish keeper has made four appearances this season in all competitions, keeping just one clean sheet. Jensen’s role is primarily as a backup to Magnus Norman who himself is out injured with an ankle fracture. Jensen has shared minutes with Mark Howard since Norman’s injury. The 22-year-old is yet to play a first-team appearance for parent club Burnley, playing just nine times for the U23s, keeping two clean sheets.
On his absence from Carlisle, Millen told the club’s media: “We’re really disappointed about that one, he made a save in training and he’s been really unfortunate.
“I don’t know the exact extent, but he’s done some damage to his wrist. He needs surgery on it, so he’ll be out for a while, and I’m not really sure of the timescale. It’s really disappointing because he’s a great lad. We’ve kept in touch with Burnley, he’s their player, and hopefully, his surgery will go well.”
That’s now two of the club’s three senior keepers out injured with no set date of return leaving Millen in a precarious position. Only 35-year-old senior Mark Howard is left for Millen to select in between the sticks. However, with every problem comes a benefit and it could give some of the youth keepers the chance to make their mark on the first-team stage.
“In terms of cover, the rules are that I can only bring someone in if Mark [Howard] has a problem. Magnus is probably four weeks away still, but the great thing is that when someone is out it gives others an opportunity, and it’s given me the opportunity to look at two very good young keepers.
“One of them has been on the bench with the first team and that’s a great experience for him. Lukas and his misfortune is the opportunity for these young lads to experience the first-team environment.”
Jensen’s injury leaves Millen in a tough scenario with Howard now the main option in goal. With Norman back in roughly four weeks it will leave Millen using Howard for at least the next four games which are all against teams 15th in the league or above.
United are also in a relegation battle sitting second bottom of the league and therefore injuries like this and the one to winger Brennan Dickenson have come at the wrong time for Millen. Howevr Howard has kept more clean sheets than Jensen in more games.