Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor gives physio insight into Luke Williams and Luke Molyneux injuries as he assesses squad fitness ahead of New Year's Day clash against Harrogate Town

Hartlepool United aren’t expecting to have any new fitness concerns to contend with when they face Harrogate Town on New Year’s Day so Dave Challinor has cast his eye over the pre-existing injury issues.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 12:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 12:47 pm
Luke Williams in action for Hartlepool United in pre-season (photo: Frank Reid).
Luke Williams in action for Hartlepool United in pre-season (photo: Frank Reid).

Pools have had a fairly torrid time with injuries so far this season having had at least two players out injured for every single match so far going into 2020.

Things won’t be changing anytime soon either due to Luke James’ long term groin injury as well as ongoing problems with Luke Williams’ hamstring.

On a brighter note, Aaron Cunningham (knee) and Luke Molyneux (foot) have returned to full training though aren’t expected to be in immediate contention for a place in the matchday squad.

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United boss Dave Challinor – who is also a qualified physiotherapist – was quick to provide some further detail into Williams’ latest set-back.

The midfielder has been restricted to just a handful of substitute appearances this term after recovering from a serious knee injury.

“Luke Williams is still a fair auld way away with his hamstring,” Challinor confirmed.

“It was more serious than just a hamstring strain because it’s with the tendon rather than the hamstring belly or muscle problem.

“Tendons have a poor blood supply and it takes longer to heal because of that so it’s a bit longer than we thought.

“Luke Molyneux is pretty much joining in fully in terms of full contact training. In terms of game time we’re looking at getting him back by the end of January playing so we’re just going to hammer him over the next few weeks with like a mini pre-season to get him as close as possible because there’s been positive signs with him coming back.

“Aaron Cunningham tweaked his MCL in the Tow Law game but is back training.

“Aside from that and obviously Luke James, everyone seems fine other than some tired bodies after playing two games in 48 hours.

“Hopefully we go into the game pretty much full strength but also with one eye on the Oxford game where a couple of our lads are cup tied for so the squad should pick itself in essence.”