Matthew Bates provides fitness update on injured Luke Williams - and Hartlepool boss hints at possible return date

Ged McNamee (left).
Ged McNamee (left).

Hartlepool United manager Matthew Bates has provided an update on the progress of injured midfielder Luke Williams.

The former Middlesbrough and Scunthorpe man has not kicked a ball since signing on the dotted line with Pools back in August.

Tonsillitis then a knock in training on his ankle, which has eventually needed surgery to correct, has seen prevented from National League action.

After a successful operation and with recovery underway Bates has hinted Williams could come into contention for the trip to Bromley next month - although he refused to put a firm date on a return.

“We don’t know when he will be back at this stage but he is off his crutches,” said Bates.

“He is stepping up his rehab this week.

“Because of where the scar was he couldn’t really bend his leg so it was frustrating that he couldn’t do anything.

“What he needs to do now is build the muscle up and then we can assess when he will be back.

“We will know better next week.

“Nothing is imminent with him and we know he will not be fit for next weekend. We do not know about the weekend after, though.”

Otherwise Bates has a clean bill of health heading into the weekend clash with Kidsgrove Athletic at the Super 6 Stadium in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round.

“It’s just Luke for us who is ruled out - the rest are OK,” said Bates.

“We had a full 19 players training with us (on Thursday) and we have competition for places with everyone fit and available.”