Confirmed: Hartlepool United goalkeeper Ben Killip ruled out for the remainder of the season as Dave Challinor provides squad injury update
Hartlepool United goalkeeper Ben Killip has been officially ruled out for the remainder of the 2020-21 season following further specialist assessment.
Pools feared for their number one after he was forced off early in the 2-2 draw at Boreham Wood on Easter Monday with an elbow injury as forward Rhys Oates had to replace him in goal.
And manager Dave Challinor has confirmed that Killip will now be out for the remainder of the season with Derby County loanee Henrich Ravas set to retain his place in between the sticks for the time being.
“Ben was scanned Tuesday and was seen by a specialist on Wednesday and as we thought, he’s looking at 12 weeks out,” Challinor said.
“He hasn't ruptured his medial ligament [in his elbow] but he’s had a right good stretch. It’s still intact but it’s torn some fibres in there and on the opposite side as a result, he’s got a tiny fracture in the head of his radius.
"That’s not a concern, the concern is and what will keep him out is the medial ligament. That’s going to be 12 weeks and that's him done for the season."
With Killip out of contract in the summer, Ravas on loan until the end of the season and 18-year-old goalkeeper Brad Young subject to interest from Premier League side Leicester City, Challinor is left assessing his options.
“It’s not great news for Ben personally but I’ve spoken to him and he was fine within himself,” added the Pools boss.
“He’ll be disappointed but he has to move on and we’ll have a chat about next season and see where we go moving forward.
"It reinforces the fact that we’re looking to bring a goalkeeper in just to give us cover moving forward and that all eventualities are covered.”
Elsewhere in Pools’ squad, Joe Grey remains sidelined for the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his back while Ryan Johnson is still recovering from a hyper-extended knee injury.
But Oates, who missed last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Notts County with a thigh strain, is set to return.
“Oatesy trained really sharply on Wednesday so hopefully he has no reaction and he’ll be available for us for the weekend,” Challinor confirmed.
“Johno continues with his rehab. The plan was for him to do two weeks strengthening but in and around the place he’s been fine.
"As with all of them, he’s desperate to get back and when he gets back into training, maybe he won’t want to do the two weeks we sort of prescribed to him and he’ll want to get back in the fold as quickly as possible.
"It’s important we get him back safely but he’ll hopefully be able to have an impact for us between now and the end of the season.
“Everyone else has trained and is in good shape. Niggles and injures don’t seem as bad when you’re sat in the position we’re in and the sun has started to come out more. People want to be involved in those season defining games.”