Hartlepool United cautious over ex-Newcastle United defender ahead of return to full fitness
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It’s been a difficult season for Sterry who has made just three appearances for Hartlepool since August, two of those as a substitute.
The full-back missed the majority of pre-season with a groin issue before making his return as a substitute in the opening day defeat at Walsall.
But having built up a run of games, Sterry was hit with a back problem which saw him sidelined for around a month before his return in the defeat at Harrogate Town in October.
Once again, however, Sterry’s return was short lived as he then pulled up in training with a calf problem ahead of the trip to Swindon Town - an issue which has been troubling him since.
But as Hartlepool enter a crucial period of the season, interim boss Keith Curle is confident Sterry is closing in on full fitness.
“He’s on the latter stages of his return,” Curle told The Mail.
“The soleus injury that he's had is one of those injuries where if you don’t understand it, it can bite you and it can be recurring.
“You can take it to a point where you think ‘right, I'm ready to go and I can release myself and go’ and it comes back. I did it before and it can drag on.
“So what we’ve done with Jamie is we’ve erred on the side of caution and given him an extra two weeks because we need to make sure he can cover the distance.
“Jamie knows himself he needs to be robust, he needs to come back in and be able to play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday for four or five weeks on the spin but because of the way that he plays, and the position that he plays, we’ve afforded him that extra time so that we’re comfortable that we’ve done the right thing.”
Meanwhile, Curle is hoping to welcome back Euan Murray for the visit of Stockport County. The former Kilmarnock defender missed the win over Harrogate in the FA Cup with a back problem but is available for selection once again.