Pools could be handed something of a defensive boost as they prepare to face Swindon Town at the Suit Direct Stadium on Saturday with Jamie Sterry and Timi Odusina back in contention but they may well be without Neill Byrne who picked up an injury in training on Thursday.
Byrne has been the go-to for Pools this season when it comes to minutes played but the Irishman could be set to miss just his fourth league game of the season this weekend.
Byrne is the latest on a lengthy injury list at the Suit Direct Stadium as we head towards the final few weeks of the season after Sterry missed Monday’s defeat at Rochdale with Odusina absent for both of Pools’ Easter fixtures last weekend.
Sterry suffered a blow to the ribs in the defeat against Port Vale, a recurrence of a previous injury this season, while Odusina has been managing a knee problem since the defeat to Salford City at the beginning of the month.
Meanwhile, captain Nicky Featherstone remains sidelined with a groin and stomach issue.
Featherstone was an unused substitute in the draw at Forest Green Rovers a fortnight ago before picking up the injury on training ahead of Good Friday’s clash with Port Vale.
Pools assistant manager Michael Nelson suggested Featherstone would be sent for a scan having missed the trip to Rochdale, albeit the 33-year-old still made the journey, and that scan has taken place this week with Pools awaiting the results to determine the outcome for the rest of Featherstone’s season.
Featherstone will be joined on the sideline once again by Joe Grey this weekend as the youngster continues to struggle with a groin problem of his own.
Grey went off early in the defeat to Salford having taken a knock before being brought on as a late substitute at the New Lawn Stadium seven days later.
Grey’s injury has led to Pools recalling striker Olufela Olomola from his loan spell with National League side Yeovil Town earlier this week, with the 24-year-old set to go straight into the matchday squad against Swindon with Pools failing to name a full quota of players on their bench in each of the last two games.
Pools will also be keeping one eye on Bryn Morris who has had to be managed upon his return from an ankle injury in recent weeks.
Morris starred in Monday’s defeat at Rochdale and is expected to continue in midfield this weekend.
And here is everything assistant boss Nelson had to say on Pools’ injury news ahead of Saturday’s game with Swindon at the Suit Direct Stadium:
Nelson on the number of injuries and players stepping up
“It’s difficult. You can never plan to have so many regular first team players out at the same time.
“But for the lads who are going to come in it’s a chance to step up and make a mark so you hope the squad, and the lads who maybe aren’t playing as much football as they’d like, when they get the chance they come in and they take that chance and they keep it.
"It’s something you have to cope with at various points throughout the season and it’s a chance for the lads stepping in to make a mark.”
Nelson on Jamie Sterry
“Yeah he joined in part of the session yesterday and he’ll do the full session today. So he’s declared himself fit for the weekend.
“It's a previous injury that he had earlier in the season. He took a knock over the weekend and unfortunately it just flared it up again but it’s settled down quite quickly and he’s in contention for the weekend.”
Nelson on recalling Olufela Olomola due to injuries
“I don’t think it’s just purely the injury list, it’s options as well.
"Joe Grey unfortunately won’t be ready for this weekend but Fela gives us a different option in a wide area and as you’ve seen over the last two games we haven’t filled the bench.
“To have more options on the bench whether it’s Fela on the bench or not, there’s nothing saying Fela couldn’t come in and have somebody else on the bench, but having the bench full is better than not so the more options we’ve got the better.”
Nelson on Nicky Featherstone
“Yeah he’s been for the scan. We’re waiting on the results coming back so we’ll see what comes back from that.
“He’s feeling a lot better to be honest. He’s very frustrated at the minute. He travelled down to Rochdale off his own back to watch the lads play and support them and he’s frustrated that he can’t be back out there playing to help the lads out like we all know he can.
“So yeah he’s frustrated but he’s a lot better than he was three or four days ago.
“Hopefully [he’ll be back]. Again it’s one of those types of injuries where you could risk more harm than good, but once the results of the scan come back then we’ll have a better picture of that.”
Nelson on Neill Byrne
“He’s a doubt. He rolled his ankle yesterday so he’s a doubt for tomorrow.
“Timi came back in and trained this week. He was assessed before the Rochdale game but just wasn't ready but obviously Timi coming back into training is a help for us in that area.
“Jake Hull obviously playing in the last two games as well has done him some good, but Byrner is a doubt for tomorrow.”