Graeme Lee delivers Hartlepool United injury update ahead of Port Vale clash including former Sunderland striker, ex-Hull City midfielder and Huddersfield Town goalkeeper

Graeme Lee hopes Luke Molyneux can be back in contention for Hartlepool United with Easter Monday’s trip to Rochdale perhaps more likely.

By Joe Ramage
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 2:30 pm

Molyneux has been missing for the last fortnight after suffering a heavy blow to the leg in the 2-2 draw with Mansfield Town at the Suit Direct Stadium late last month.

Pools were relieved to discover there was no break with the injury with Lee admitting last week he sees no reason why the striker won't feature again this season.

Lee had hoped Molyneux would be back in training at the beginning of the week but that has not been the case with the 24-year-old limited to individual regimes.

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Nicky Featherstone was an unused substitute in the draw with Forest Green Rovers. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

But the Pools boss says Molyneux could play a part this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Port Vale before potentially linking back up with the squad for the trip to Rochdale on Monday.

“He’s not back in training unfortunately. He’s been doing some running and he's had no reaction so he’ll join in training today hopefully for a bit-part,” Lee told The Mail.

“It won’t be ready for the game [tomorrow] but maybe Monday if he gets through the training sessions alright and nobody kicks him.

“It’ll be nice to have him back in and on the training field. It just brightens you all up when Luke is back on the training pitch.”

Joe Grey came off the bench in last week's draw with Forest Green Rovers. (Credit: Michael Driver | MI News)

Molyneux is one of a number of players dealing with injury at the moment according to Lee as the end of season begins to take its toll on the squad.

Joe Grey and Nicky Featherstone, who both started last week’s draw at Forest Green Rovers on the bench, will each be assessed ahead of tomorrow having picked up knocks earlier in the week while Lee also admits he has a decision to make in goal as he weighs up the possibility of handing Huddersfield Town loanee Nicholas Bilokapic an opportunity over the Easter weekend.

“There’s a few niggles and injuries this week. Nic’s got a niggle and Ben has got a niggle but Nic is in my thoughts for one of the games this weekend and the same with Jake Hull,” said Lee.

“It’s been a long slog managing bodies, especially the lads who have been here since last season. So there's a few issues going into the game meaning I might be limited to what I can and can’t do.

Luke Molyneux picked up an injury in the draw with Mansfield Town after getting Hartlepool United level in the contest. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“At the moment we're going to assess the bodies today to see what we can get out on the field. So there might be a few changes, there might not be a few changes, I’ll have to see.

“Joe Grey is struggling a little bit and Nicky is struggling a little bit as well.”

Lee added: “The players want to play and they’ll get frustrated when they don’t, it’s trying to get that message that it’s only for certain reasons and it’s not performance based.

“We’re trying to look at different things and build for next season. I want to get a clearer picture of where we want to go.

“But every single player wants to play games and that’s brilliant for me, but sometimes you’ve got to understand where we’re coming from and as long as they take it the right way and are ready to go again then fantastic.”