Dave Challinor gives in depth assessment of Hartlepool United's six injury issues ahead of FA Trophy tie at Harrogate Town – when will Luke Molyneux be back?
Luke James’ scan, Luke Molyneux’s return date and Luke Williams’ injury record – Dave Challinor discusses it all in his latest squad update.
Pools will be without James after the forward picked up a groin injury during Tuesday night’s FA Cup win over Exeter City.
They will also be without Gavan Holohan (back), Luke Williams (hamstring) and Luke Molyneux (foot) though are hopeful Peter Kioso (concussion) and Aaron Cunningham (knee) will be back in contention.
“We’ll find out the extent of Luke’s injury this afternoon,” Challinor revealed.
“We’re wary it may be serious, we hope it’s not because it would be a huge blow for us.
“Gav Holohan, because of the 3G surface won’t be risked with his back because we don’t want to set him back.
“Aaron Cunningham and Peter Kioso have trained and could potentially be back for Saturday.
“We hope they get through today and tomorrow then it’s a question of do we risk them? They’re back into the fray whether they play or not.
“Luke Molyneux isn’t as far on as we’d hoped, in terms of him coming back, this weekend was his initial return date.
“But once I’d seen him on the grass, it’s difficult to put timescales on things but I straight away didn't think we’d see Luke back and ready to play certainly until the end of January now just due to the time he’s been out.
“He’ll need a mini pre-season just to get back up to speed. He’s close to being back in full training, he’s back on the grass and will be integrated back into full training then a match fitness programme. He’s progressing but we won’t be pushing him to get back quicker after he’s been out for so long.
“Luke Williams is a little bit different, he’s ahead of Luke Molyneux in terms of his injury but is the same in regard to needing that match fitness.
“He’s had serious injuries and I didn’t realise the extent of the injuries he’s had until I arrived here and looked through his medical notes. It’s a tough one with him, you just hope when he does come back that he isn’t hampered by previous injuries that he’s had.”