'Massive red flag' injury for Hartlepool United youngster Joe Grey as Dave Challinor gives updates on Jamie Sterry, Luke Williams and Ryan Donaldson

Hartlepool United are being extremely careful with Joe Grey after the teenage forward missed Tuesday night’s draw at Altrincham with a back injury.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 12:30 pm

The 17-year-old has scored twice and assisted two in 15 appearances in all competitions in his breakthrough season at Pools.

But he was a notable absentee from the bench on Tuesday night as manager Dave Challinor explained: “Joe, we have to be careful with and remember that he’s still only 17.

"He’s had an issue with his back and backs for 17-year-olds are massive red flags. He’s been asked to do a lot and has done brilliantly well and has been a massive plus for us.

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Joe Grey is facing a brief spell on the sidelines. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

"He won’t be risked at all and just shut him down for a week to 10 days and see where he’s at after that. Hopefully we have others coming back in that time.”

Jamie Sterry also missed the match with a slight thigh strain after being risked at Torquay United on Saturday. Ryan Donaldson and Luke Williams didn't make the journey either.

“We’ve got to be a bit selective,” Challinor added. “Playing Jamie on Saturday ruled him out for Tuesday but we’re pretty positive he’ll be back for Saturday [against Eastleigh].

“Ryan Donaldson had an injection in his foot on Monday so should be back doing something maybe Saturday and training Monday. Luke Williams trained on Monday so it’s just about getting more minutes back into him.”

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The Pools boss also hinted at potential arrivals before the registration deadline on March 25. As a result, extending Tom White’s loan from Blackburn Rovers has been put on hold.

"We have players who can cover positions and we may need to look at things now and what we can add,” Challinor continued.

“Lads have gone into positions on Tuesday that they’re not the best in and have done a job.

"Normally, central midfielders can slot into full-back positions if needed but in fairness, our midfielders don’t really have the strengths and attributes to play in that position comfortably.

"Jamie should come back into our plans for the weekend and hopefully the injection Ryan has had gives us an option with him. When the squad does become stretched, his ability to play in different positions becomes massively important especially from a management perspective.”

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