Injuries mount up for Hartlepool United with former Newcastle United defender and ex-Norwich City duo doubts for trip to Rochdale while former Sunderland striker is back in contention

Graeme Lee is waiting on injury updates to a number of players within his Hartlepool United squad ahead of the trip to Rochdale tomorrow.

Pools travel to the Crown Oil Arena for the second of their Easter weekend fixtures after narrowly losing out to Port Vale on Good Friday.

Lee was forced to shuffle his pack considerably in that defeat with key players such as Ben Killip, Timi Odusina and captain Nicky Featherstone all missing with just six substitutes named on the bench.

That is an issue which could continue tomorrow with the fitness of some players still up in the air amid such a quick turnaround.

Jamie Sterry went off injured in Hartlepool United's defeat by Port Vale. Picture by FRANK REID

And things were made worse for Lee when fullback Jamie Sterry was forced off late in the afternoon with the former Newcastle United defender a doubt for tomorrow’s game.

Sterry joins Featherstone, Killip and Joe Grey as doubts for Monday's clash while Odusina is set to miss out once more with a knee injury.

“Jamie got a bang on the ribs so we’ll assess that because he had a weakness in his ribs from the home game when he missed a few,” Lee told The Mail.

“He had a slight fracture so hopefully it’s not too serious and just a bang on his ribs.

Timi Odusina missed Hartlepool United's game with Port Vale and is set to be out of the trip to Rochdale. Picture by Cory Pickford

“Timi has got a swollen knee. Ben sprained his wrist on Wednesday but he had a tight quad anyway so he was doubtful because we didn’t want to risk that.

“Then we got Joe Grey pulling out of training with a groin strain and Feath who strained the top half of his stomach muscle.

“Joe we’ll assess, Feath we’ll have to see if it settles in two days time. Ben hopefully won't be a million miles off.

“I can’t see Timi [being available]. It was from the Salford game when he got a whack on the knee and he’s been managing it but at this moment because of the swelling he’s struggling.

Luke Molyneux came off the bench in the closing stages of Hartlepool United's defeat to Port Vale. (Credit: James Holyoak | MI News)

“He should be back [before the end of the season]. It’s just been one of them where he’s managed something, and a lot of them have been managing niggles, and it gets to the point where it’s caught up to a few of them at the same time.

“But hopefully a few days off might settle a few of their bodies down and we'll be ready to go again.”

There was some positive news to be had for Lee however which came 10 minutes from time in the defeat to Port Vale with the return of star man Luke Molyneux.

Molyneux has been nursing a leg injury and was perhaps brought back into the action sooner than Lee would have liked but the Pools boss believes the 24-year-old should be in contention on Monday.

“We’ll have to see. It was good to get Luke back out there,” said Lee.

“Luke only trained in the warm-up [on Thursday] so putting him on wasn’t something I wanted to do unless we were really looking to push in the game.

“His injury is fine but he only did the first part of the session so it was more about whether he came on and maybe sprinted a little bit too much and twinged something.

“But hopefully we can get a session into Luke and he’ll be fine.”