Hartlepool United-Macclesfield: Bad and good news on fitness front for Pools

Picture by Sam Mallorie-Williams/AHPIX.com; Craig Harrison ahead of kick-off at Ebbsfleet.
Picture by Sam Mallorie-Williams/AHPIX.com; Craig Harrison ahead of kick-off at Ebbsfleet.
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Hartlepool United will be without Jonathan Franks again tomorrow but are optimistic about having Carl Magnay back for the vital home match with Macclesfield Town.

Craig Harrison had hoped to welcome back the leading scorer, who missed the win over Halifax and the defeat at Ebbsfleet with a hamstring problem.

Mags is back in training and will be fully involved today and should be available

CRAIG HARRISON

But the 27-year-old is still not back in full training and, unless physio Phil Bulmer judges otherwise, Harrison will not risk him against the Silkmen.

The prognosis though is brighter with Magnay after the skipper returned to full training yesterday after recovering from a hernia op which has kept him out for six matches.

“Franksy trained yesterday with Phil and will do so again today,” Harrison told SportMail. “With a hamstring you have to be cautious.

“Fortunately, we have been already, we thought it might have been a week, and it’s become 14 days.

“But him resting could be the difference between two weeks out and six to eight weeks.

“I would think he will probably be fit to train fully with the group by the middle of next week.

“He could be back in sooner if Phil says so but we have to be careful.

“Mags is back in training and will be fully involved today and will be available.”

Whether Harrison throws his skipper straight back in is debatable given he’s missed a lot of football.

Harrison is almost certain to include a man of his influence in the match-day squad.

The manager will check on Nicky Featherstone who came off midway through the second half at Ebbsfleet last weekend.

Jake Cassidy will start up top with Harrison admitting they have had had to take care of him in training given he has been out for so long.

“We’ve had to manage his workload,” said Harrison. “He’s needed for games, he knows that.

“The club’s fantastic relationship with Sunderland has helped and gave us a two-week head start on his return to fitness by using their zero-gravity treadmill.

“He’s been out nine weeks, that’s a long time to be out and then thrown in Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday.

“But this week has been one when we have looked after him after accumulative fatigue.”