Craig Hignett fears Matthew Bates will miss Hartlepool United’s final match of the season at Plymouth Argyle.
The centre half, a stand-out performer this season alongside Adam Jackson at the heart of the Pools defence, suffered ankle damage in the 2-0 defeat by Portsmouth.
He never made it out for the second half at Victoria Park, with Rob Jones deputising superbly.
With nothing but pride to play for at Home Park, there is no need for the 29-year-old to be risked.
“Batesy has an ankle problem and we tried to keep him going at half-time,” said Hignett.
“But it didn’t work.”
Jake Carroll missed Saturday’s game with calf trouble though his absence did afford Hignett the opportunity to view Dan Jones at left-back and the 21-year-old did his cause good.
Carroll though could feature against Argyle while skipper Billy Paynter is set to start again after playing the thick end of 70 minutes against Pompey after missing the previous five games with injury.
“Jake had a tight calf and Billy got an hour after a hamstring problem which is what I wanted,” Hignett added.