Hartlepool United defender Michael Ledger is rated as doubtful for tomorrow’s National League trip to Eastleigh.
Pools make the lengthy journey down to the south coast today and Sunderland loan man Ledger will be given every opportunity to be on board.
Ledger has missed the last two games with a groin problem.
He is rated as 50-50 by the Pools medical staff.
Rhys Oates is another player who could be involved.
A thigh problem has kept him out of contention recently, but he is another who could boost Pools depleted ranks, if passed fit on the day of the game.
Luke George’s back problem will again keep him out of the trip, while Ryan Donaldson, Kenton Richardson and Aaron Cunningham are long-term absentees.
Meanwhile, having squared up their outstanding debts with the bus company, Pools will travel to Eastleigh by coach.
As a cost-cutting measure of late, Pools have binned overnight stays and decided on taking the train when they last went south for the trip to Dagenham.
But this time club chiefs have sanctioned a hotel stay for the squad.
The players will also train at Aston Villa’s Bodymoor Heath this afternoon before finishing off their journey.
Confirming the news, manager Craig Harrison said: “We will be having an overnight and training at Aston Villa, after travelling on the coach.
“It’s a long trip, but that’s what we have done and we may have to save a few pennies on the standard of hotel – we may have to sleep on the bus yet.”
The situation is far from ideal for Pools, while it is the best Harrison can hope for.
For the club, a short trip would have been ideal.
But the manager knows the situation is what it is and is trying to see the positive in Pools’ current plight.
“It’s hard. We all know things aren’t how we would like them,” he said.
“But when is life like exactly how you want it to be? I’ve always tried to be positive about things.
“There’s always someone with a tougher problem to deal with.”
In the week Harrison’s Pools bagged a point on their travels at Chester, and the manager knows it was not quite good enough.
“A point is a point away. If our home form was better we’d accept that, but it hasn’t been so we are playing catch-up on our travels,” he said.
“It is very frustrating.
“We can’t keep hammering players because we need each other. We have to work together to get through this.
“We have to be positive.”