SAM Collins could be out of action for the rest of the season after tearing his calf muscle in the warm-up before Saturday’s game at Walsall, writes CRAIG HOPE.
The skipper was seen limping out of a keep-ball session at the Banks’s Stadium and his name was quickly scrubbed from the team-sheet.
SportMail understands Collins has suffered a serious tear and is staring at a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
And Neale Cooper has bemoaned the loss.
“Sam’s had problems with his calf and maybe the hardness of the pitch didn’t help,” he said.
“But that threw us big-time because he’s our captain and a major player.
“We’ll have to see how long he’ll be out for, but it’s a blow because he’s been fantastic recently.”
The 34-year-old had only just made his 500th career appearance during last week’s 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield Town and it appears he will be stuck on that mark for the foreseeable future.
Jack Baldwin could now be set for an extended stay in the side at centre-back after impressing in goalless draw against the Saddlers.
“When Sam was injured we had to put Jack at the back and I thought he was outstanding,” said Cooper.
“It looked like he’d played that position for years and I said that to him after the game.
“I said in the dressing room to the players that I saw the best individual performance I have seen from a Hartlepool player since I came back to the club
“He was absolutely different class.”
FULL STORY IN MONDAY’S MAIL ...