Martin hopes injured trio can carry their relationship from the treatment room to the pitch

Sam Nombe and Rhys Healey
Sam Nombe and Rhys Healey

Having three strikers out for a lengthy period has had obvious drawbacks for MK Dons, but Russell Martin hopes the relationship Sam Nombe, Rhys Healey and Joe Mason have built in the treatment room will pay off when they return.

Mason only made his Dons debut last weekend in the FA Cup defeat to Port Vale after signing in the summer, but was joined by both Nombe and Healey in September when the pair got injured within two weeks of each other.

Since then, the trio have formed a good relationship away from the pitch, and Martin hopes when he gets the opportunity to pick all three, it will show on the field as well.

"They're fortunate to have had each other to push each other through. And with Joe in there too, working hard together. They've brought each other out of their shells. They're really comfortable in each other's company, and there's a little bit of competition between them too. If it brings an added benefit of a close relationship on and off the pitch, then it's a bonus."

Despite returning to the training ground this week, neither Nombe nor Healey are expected back in the first team until after Christmas, but Martin believes when they do come back, they will be in better condition than they were prior to their injuries.

He added: "Both of them have pushed each other through their rehab, and they'll come back stronger with the hard work they've put in. They won't be in contention much this side of Christmas, but if we can it'll be brilliant."