Andrew Davies '˜ahead of schedule' in bid for Hartlepool United return
Matthew Bates has revealed that Hartlepool United skipper Andrew Davies is ahead of schedule in his return bid.
But the manager claims he will resist the temptation to bring his captain back before medics think he is ready.
Davies has been absent since limping out of Pools’ only loss of the season against Ebbsfleet United at the Super 6 Stadium on August 11.
Bates has previously stated he has hopes Davies could return by the end of the month, but things could be sooner, if the player has anything to do with it.
"He is doing fine," he said of Davies’ recovery.
"He is probably ahead of schedule in how his ankle feels but we have to go with what the specialist and the physio say.
"It was a grade two tear and that takes time, no matter how he is feeling.
"The ligament is still torn in there."
On the selection front Bates does have a clean bill of health ahead of this weekend’s clash at Solihull.
Despite that he is considering a change or two, given that he has such a talented squad at his disposal this season.
"It does demand a lot of the players,” Bates said of the National League schedule.
"I speak to the players to see how they feel - I think it is good to get feedback from them.
"I thought last Saturday we looked a little bit tired. It was in my thinking to change the team on Tuesday. But speaking to the lads about how they were feeling for Tuesday, they felt they were alright. I do think Saturday was down to the travel and the heat. It makes a difference.
"I think in the end it was the right decision to keep the team the same on the back of four wins.
"It might be something to think about - do I mix it up on Saturday or do I not?
"We have a good squad so it is always something I am considering. We have good players able to step in at any point."
One player who fans are desperate to see back in a Pools shirt is midfielder Luke Williams.
The summer signing from Scunthorpe United is yet to make his return in blue and white after enduring an unfortunate first few weeks at the Vic.
"He is coming on. He is training,” said Bates.
"We will look at him and assess it.
"It is a funny one really because we do not want to rush him back.
"It was tonsillitis which knocked him for a week to 10 days. With his injury history we do not want to rush him.
"It is a nice position to be in for me, having options and and a nice position for Luke as there is no pressure on him.
"We want him to come back and get him to his best.
"He is itching, champing at the bit to get back in.
"He will be a top player for this club in time."