Will Luke Williams be involved for Hartlepool United this weekend? Matthew Bates has his say
Hartlepool United boss Matthew Bates is 90% sure Luke Williams will be available for selection against Eastleigh.
But the manager says he will only throw his summer signing back into the matchday 16 when he is 100% ready.
Williams has not kicked a ball since signing on the dotted line at Pools, having struggled with a bout of tonsillitis.
Fit and training again now, though, Williams is edging ever closer to his second Pools bow.
“He is fine. I think I am 90% sure he will be involved on Saturday,” said Bates ahead of tomorrow’s clash against the National League strugglers.
“It has been difficult for Luke because we have had so many games and the training has been stop-start.
“With no reserve group he has not had much opportunity.
“We are protecting him. We do not need to rush him in with the run that we have been on.”
Elsewhere on the injury front Bates has a near clean bill of health with club captain Andrew Davies the only guaranteed absentee.
Bates has not ruled out the veteran defender returning to the fold next weekend when Pools face a crucial few days in their campaign, taking on Halifax Town then Salford City in the space of four days.
He does concede, though, that Davies’ ankle problem may take a little longer to recover.
“Andrew is good. He has been outside a couple of times and has been OK,” said Bates.
“We hope he carries on the fitness work over the weekend and into next week and then we hope to have him back at the end of next week or the week after.
“We know this weekend will come far too soon for him and that’s probably the same next weekend but fingers crossed for the week after.”