Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor gives injury update on attacking duo set to miss Dunston UTS friendly

Hartlepool United are set to be without two forward players until the start of League Two season.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 6:00 am

Mark Cullen has missed Pools’ last two friendly matches with a hamstring injury picked up just five minutes into the second pre-season match at Spennymoor Town.

The 29-year-old is likely to remain sidelined for Friday’s final friendly match at Dunston UTS (7pm kick-off) but should be in contention for the season opener against Crawley Town on August 7 (3pm kick-off).

Elsewhere in the squad, teenage forward Joe Grey is set to miss all of pre-season as he continues his recovery from a back injury that saw his 2020-21 campaign end prematurely.

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Mark Cullen leaves the field after picking up an injury against Spennymoor Town (photo: Frank Reid)

“Culls should be back on the grass by the end of the week,” Challinor told The Mail. “The Friday game may come too soon for him.

"Joe – we’ve had to be ultra-careful with him in terms of his injury. He’ll be back on the grass properly next week but he’s not played for three, four months now so it’s a gradual one for him and it’s important we don’t push him too much.

"Hopefully he’ll be available as quickly as possible and we can get him back involved.”

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Cullen is yet to be officially announced as a Pools player ahead of the new season and was listed as a trialist in the friendlies at Runcorn Linnets and Spennymoor Town. He played 45-minutes of the 9-1 win at Runcorn, scoring once.

Despite his injury, he is set to be confirmed as a Hartlepool player within the next week.

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