Hartlepool United sweating on knocks to four key players as Dave Challinor explains Joe Grey's absence at Carlisle United

Hartlepool United are monitoring the fitness of four key players who picked up knocks during Saturday’s 2-1 win over Carlisle United.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 6:00 am

Gavan Holohan, Jamie Sterry, Gary Liddle and Zaine Francis-Angol didn’t make the trip to face The Cumbrian’s in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night after missing training on Monday.

The match was also set to be 18-year-old striker Joe Grey’s long awaited return to the side after six months sidelined with a back injury. But the youngster suffered a muscle strain in training and wasn’t risked for the match.

“Joe would have started but he trained on Monday and felt his quad so with the amount of time he’s been out, it was pointless risking anything,” Pools boss Dave Challinor told The Mail.

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Dave Challinor at Carlisle.

“He’s been loaded and loaded and loaded to get back to where he is and we didn’t want to force anything. He’ll need to step off it for seven days, nothing severe and we’ll manage that while still keeping him at a steady level.”

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Challinor is also hoping his four first team regulars are passed fit in time for Saturday’s trip to Tranmere Rovers (3pm kick-off).

“Gav, Jamie Sterry, Lidds and Zaine were all from the game on Saturday,” added the Hartlepool manager. “Zaine was lucky to finish the game to be fair.

"The others felt something and didn’t train on Monday which makes it a no brainer to not have them involved and not travel [to Carlisle].

"They’ll have some treatment through the week and hopefully when they’re back on Thursday we get some positive news and they will be back with the group.”

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