Fleetwood Town loan striker remains out for Hartlepool United's crucial National League match at Sutton United

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Harvey Saunders is set to return to training next week as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

Saunders missed last weekend’s 3-1 win at Aldershot Town and will remain sidelined for this Sunday’s trip to Sutton United.

Providing the latest team and injury news in his pre-match press conference, Pools boss Dave Challinor said: “We’re in decent shape, similar to how we were last weekend.

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"The only one really is Harvey but he's progressing so we’re pretty comfortable with him. He won’t be involved at the weekend but we’re hoping he will for the following week.

Harvey Saunders in action for Hartlepool United (photo: Mark Fletcher)Harvey Saunders in action for Hartlepool United (photo: Mark Fletcher)
Harvey Saunders in action for Hartlepool United (photo: Mark Fletcher)

"We’ll have him back training next week if things continue to progress as positively as they have been.”

Saunders was initially due to have a precautionary scan this week but Challinor admitted it didn’t prove necessary.

“He hasn’t had a scan but it’s not really a concern to be fair,” he told The Mail.

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“All scans are potentially precautionary but this would have been more to get a definitive answer as to what the issue might be.

“It’s started to settle down and get better. It initially came from the Bromley game where he landed on his knee as an impact injury but with it being a 3G surface the impact was greater than what grass would be which has caused a bit of inflammation in the front of his knee.

"It's a problem in normal circumstances where we wouldn’t be desperate to get him scanned, it’s just really for confirmation of the diagnosis.

"It’s not a concern that we haven’t scanned him, hopefully things will continue to settle and he’ll be available next weekend.”

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Discussing the rest of his squad, Challinor continued: “ As with everyone, we’ve got a few little niggles and things like that but in the main we're in good shape and mentally in a good place looking to go and travel down on the Sunday.

"It’s a different game, a tv game, a different kick-off time but one we’re looking forward to. When you come into games of this size at the end of the season, everyone wants to be involved with them so things do tend to clear up quicker than they would normally.”

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