Hartlepool United boss hopes to welcome back injured stars
Dave Jones is keeping his fingers crossed and he gets some of Hartlepool United's injured troops back for their safety fight.
Keeper Trevor Carson, defender Rob Jones and captain Billy Paynter are all long-term casualties, while on-loan attacker Andrew Nelson has returned to Sunderland after a knee injury ended his season.
Sean Kavanagh and Matthew Bates are having treatment to hamstring problems and Pools boss Jones hopes to have them back in contention soon.
“Hopefully we are getting one or two players back which is important for competition for places,” said Jones.
Kavanagh has impressed at left-back and, when fit, he would be expected to resume.
Bates, an experienced figure in the side, may have to bide his time to return, even when he’s fit, given the form of the Scott Harrison-Brad Walker combination.
Defender Carl Magnay is back in training after knee surgery and hopes to be able to feature later this month.
Paynter says he is hoping for news on his Achilles trouble which has sidelined him during the Jones reign.
As SportMail reported last week, the striker has had an injection in his leg in a bid to try to avoid season-ending surgery.
Writing in his programme column for Tuesday night’s game against Crewe, Paynter told the Blueprint: “It is a brand new sort of treatment.
“But I am willing to try anything to get back to fitness and do my bit for the rest of the season.
“The medical staff have told me that the injection takes seven to 10 days to fully get into your system.
“I had it [last] Thursday so we’re just waiting for things to develop now.”