Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor reveals his ‘shock’ at goalkeeper’s injury recovery plus latest on Newcastle United loan defender
Ben Killip returned to the bench for Hartlepool United’s play-off semi-final win at Stockport County despite his season previously being declared over.
The Pools number one suffered a serious elbow injury during a 2-2 draw at Boreham Wood back in April and was ruled out for the remainder of the National League season.
But with Hartlepool securing a play-off place and progressing to the final on June 20, Killip has since returned to training and the matchday squad, much to the surprise of manager Dave Challinor.
“It was a shock more than anything else,” Challinor admitted. “We didn’t envisage that Ben would be involved in any way shape or form.
"He came back into training last week and he’s not played for nine weeks. We looked at things and thought with his experience and how he’s been this season, would it help things?
"Of the three, looking at detail you go penalties, he’s probably the best of the three at saving penalties. We made the decision especially with him and Brad [James] being better with their feet and we thought that would be important. Ben isn’t far away but hopefully we don’t need him.”
Elsewhere in Pools’ squad, Lewis Cass returned to training and travelled to Stockport County following a hamstring injury. And he could also be in contention to feature at Ashton Gate.
"Cass trained on Friday and potentially will be fit for next Sunday but it’s one of them where I hope he is fit and we have a decision to make,” Challinor told The Mail.
"Hopefully we’ll make the right decisions that will help us get one more win.”