Paul Hartley reveals Joe Grey fitness update as ex-Newcastle United defender nears full return for Hartlepool United

Joe Grey could be set to miss the first number of weeks of Hartlepool United’s season with a calf issue.

Grey was a surprise omission from Paul Hartley’s opening day squad at Walsall last week before it was revealed the teenager picked up an injury ahead of the game.

Pools boss Hartley suggested in the wake of their 4-0 defeat to the Saddlers Grey would need a scan and has now confirmed the forward may be out for a number of weeks with the issue.

Grey was one of three injured players to miss the season opener including new signing Mikael Ndjoli, who was out with a hamstring injury, and Marcus Carver who has since left the club for Scunthorpe United.

Joe Grey has been sidelined with a calf injury for Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID

Like Grey, Ndjoli also had a scan on his injury with Hartley revealing the results are more positive over his potential return, albeit Saturday’s first home game of the season with AFC Wimbledon may come too soon.

“Joe will miss out and Mika will miss out on the squad,” said Hartley.

“Mika we’re hoping won't be too far away - he could be next week. Joe could still be a couple of weeks away with a calf issue.

“Mika has a hamstring, but the scan was really positive so he’ll be back on the pitch tomorrow doing some light running.”

Jamie Sterry made his Hartlepool United return as a substitute in the defeat to Walsall. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Hartley has however been boosted by another positive week of training from full-back Jamie Sterry.

The former Newcastle United defender missed the majority of pre-season through injury but was able to make his return to the Pools side at Walsall, coming off the bench for the final quarter of the game.

And Sterry could be near to being available for the full 90 minutes, if not against Wimbledon then at Blackburn Rovers in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

“He’s trained well this week. He’s looking good, he’s looking strong,” Hartley told The Mail.

“But we’ll need the whole squad this year with the amount of games we’ve got coming up.

“We’ve got Saturday and then we’re away to Blackburn and then it’s a quick turnaround again away at Northampton, so we definitely need to use the squad.”