Hartlepool United midfielder Michael Woods is a doubt for this weekend’s visit of Torquay United.
The Gulls head to Victoria Park knowing nothing less than three points is likely to see them relegated from the National League.
Seven points separate them from safety with three games left to play.
And while Pools’ destiny was decided this week, they may well have to do without talismanic top-scorer Woods, who has nine goals so far this campaign.
“He is struggling with his knee, so we decided to take him off at half-time,” said Bates of Woods’ withdrawal midway through Tuesday’s National League status securing draw with Leyton Orient.
“It was a one of them where he has tried to run about with it but was struggling.”
Bates moved to quash fears that youngster Josh Hawkes may miss out, having appeared to limp off against the O’s.
“We think it is just cramp,” said the caretaker.
“But we will keep an eye on him and assess it ahead of the weekend.”
One player who will miss out is Devante Rodney, having been shown two yellows in the week.
“It is his inexperience that has cost him,” said Bates.
“It means that much to him. He is a great lad, a young lad but very honest.
“The first one is a yellow then the second one he is just late. As a young lad he has been a bit naive.
“But it didn’t cost us so we move on.”