Dave Challinor explains 'room full' of injured players at Hartlepool United ahead of National League clash at Yeovil Town – updates on Josh Hawkes, Kenton Richardson, Luke Williams and Fraser Kerr

Hartlepool United’s injury issues are easing very slowly though manager Dave Challinor still expects eight players to be unavailable.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 6:53 pm
Fraser Kerr of Hartlepool United during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barrow at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 28th December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Josh Hawkes (abdomen), Kenton Richardson (ankle) and Fraser Kerr (back) are progressing while the Pools boss will have to be patient with the longer term injuries to Michael Raynes (thigh), Luke James (groin), Luke Williams (hamstring) and Adam Bale (knee).

Gime Toure completes the list of guaranteed absentees as he serves the final game of his suspension.

Fellow forward Aidan Keena will make the trip but may be unavailable for selection with his international clearance still yet to come though.

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“We’ve got a room full of injured players, that’s where we’re at at the moment,” Challinor admitted.

“It’s very similar to where we were, we’ve had some positive news with Josh Hawkes where it wasn’t as serious as we thought so hopefully he’ll be back sooner rather than later.

“Kenton will be on the grass today, the weekend will be too soon for him but hopefully next weekend will be okay for him.

“We’re getting some back, Fraser’s is a frustrating one because his back issue, he tends to struggle in the morning but eases through the day as he works on it before getting set back a bit.

“Raynesy and Luke James are long term. Luke Williams were hoping to see on the grass within the next few weeks, hopefully by the end of January but with him it’s a case of being extra careful with him based on his past record – we’ve got none who will affect the squad for Saturday.”