Hartlepool United assistant manager Michael Nelson had this to say on former Hull City and Walsall midfielder after Rochdale appearance despite injury

Michael Nelson has praised Hartlepool United captain Nicky Featherstone for his commitment despite dealing with injury.

By Joe Ramage
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 5:38 pm

Featherstone is currently struggling with a lower stomach and groin injury which kept him sidelined over the Easter weekend having been an unused substitute at Forest Green Rovers the week previous.

Pools boss Graeme Lee suggested Featherstone was rested at the New Lawn Stadium before developing the injury in training early last week.

Featherstone was not involved in either of Pools’ squads over the Easter period but could be seen in attendance at both fixtures, including Monday’s trip to Rochdale after he drove himself to the Crown Oil Arena.

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Hartlepool United captain Nicky Featherstone made the trip to Rochdale despite dealing with an injury. (Credit: Will Matthews | MI News)

Featherstone’s appearance at Rochdale led to suggestions he could take part in the warm-up, similarly to the routine Pools implemented with both Bryn Morris and Joe White upon their returns from injury recently, but assistant manager Nelson said there was no point risking the Pools captain owing to the nature of the injury.

Nelson hinted Featherstone will be sent for a scan on the injury which could lead to concerns his season may be over but, nevertheless, Nelson applauded the 33-year-old for his commitment over the last week in support of his teammates.

“Feath has a bit of a groin issue which needs monitoring,” Nelson told The Mail.

“We’ll probably look to get him scanned to see how he is.

Nicky Featherstone was an unused substitute in the recent draw at Forest Green Rovers before picking up a training ground injury. (Credit: Will Matthews | MI News)

“There was no benefit to it [doing the warm-up] with the stage he’s at. We would only have aggravated it even more if he did the warm-up.

“We didn’t actually bring him down. Feath’s asked if he could come down and come and support the lads.

“We would have left him at home and let him rest but he wanted to come along and show his support which is great, that’s the type of lads we’ve got in the group.

“I think Byrner did it as well down at Walsall when he was suspended so some of the lads have done it in the past and hopefully they’ll continue to do it.

“It shows the camaraderie in the group and how close knit they are so that was good to see and at the end of the game in the changing room Feath had a say as well.

“We invite the lads who play them game to have an input and to share what their thoughts are because it’s not all about us on the sideline, they’re in the heat of the battle so they need to be allowed to have an input and we encourage that.”

But while Featherstone’s fitness for the remainder of the season is in doubt, the importance of the Pools captain is not with Lee recently declaring Featherstone’s significance to his plans next season after not being involved in the draw at Forest Green.

“He’s a big part of this club for me going forward which I hope he can see. He wants to play every minute of every game and he has done for me and I appreciate that,” Lee recently told The Mail.

“I’ve got Feath and Crawfs now tied up for next season and hopefully we’ll have Bryn as well if we can get something sorted with the clause in the loan agreement.”