JORDAN Hugill will be given until the “last minute” to prove his fitness ahead of Hartlepool United’s trip to relegation rivals York City.
Pools make the short trip to Bootham Crescent tomorrow (KO 3pm) and boss Ronnie Moore is desperate to be able to call upon the services of on-loan striker Hugill.
We are waiting on Jordan, it will be a last-minute decision with himRonnie Moore
But the 22-year-old remains a major doubt with an eye injury and he was due to see a specialist today. Moore insists he will give the on-loan Preston North End frontman every opportunity to prove his fitness as he is wary about throwing top league scorer Scott Fenwick straight back into competitive action.
If Hugill doesn’t make the squad, then Marlon Harewood is expected to lead the line.
Moore told SportMail: “We are waiting on Jordan and it will be a last -minute decision with him.
“He is going to see a specialist today and then we will find out whether he is okay to play or not.
“It is good to have Scott [Fenwick] back, he has come back and scored a goal for the reserves but it is a fitness issue with him, that is the big thing.
“We will up his training
schedule so he gets on par with the other lads but tomorrow will probably come a bit too soon for him.
“He is desperate to be involved though and at least wants to be on the bench – but he has only played one reserve game.
“We have to make sure, if Hugill is out, that we look after Scott but he does give me another option.”
Hugill injured his eye in the opening few minutes of the 1-0 defeat to Southend United on Easter Monday, the striker unable to continue as he had blurred vision.
Fenwick, meanwhile, made a goalscoring return for the reserve team in his first appearance after two months out with an ankle injury.
Matthew Bates was also given a 90-minute run-out but he is not expected to be back around the first team squad until Luton Town a week tomorrow.
Moore is understandably wary about putting Fenwick straight back into the side for fear of losing him for a longer spell.
“You want to throw Scott in as quickly as you can because he got five goals in seven games before his injury,” Moore told SportMail.
“But when you pick a knock and you’re out as long as he has been and you throw him in, we’d all be gutted if he picked up another knock and is then out for the season.
“You have to handle it carefully and Buster [physio Ian Gallagher] will be the one that makes the decision on that one.
“Batesy looks shorter than Scott, fitness wise.
“We can step up their work in training and I’d imagine come next Saturday both of them will be in and around the first team.
“When Scott got injured it was soul destroying for him and us because then you have to go and find a goalscorer and everyone is looking to do that.
“We have been lucky in the players that have come in, in terms of work ethic, not all of them, but the vast majority who have come in on loan have put a shift in and done well.”