Hartlepool United midfielder Nicky Featherstone is facing an extended spell on the sidelines, with the Hartlepool Mail stating he has ruptured his ankle ligaments.
Hartlepool United have started this season poorly, failing to win any of their opening eight League Two games under Paul Hartley’s management.
One man who has been a mainstay again this campaign is experienced midfielder Featherstone. He had played all 90 minutes in every game before being forced off in the early stages of the Pools’ 1-1 draw with Colchester United at the start of the month.
Now, the extent of the long-serving veteran’s injury has been confirmed.
The Hartlepool Mail have said that Featherstone has suffered ruptured ankle ligaments, with a visit to a specialist confirming the blow.
Hartley had initially feared the 33-year-old would be out for six to seven weeks, but the report states that Featherstone is likely to sit out for ‘the next couple of months’ through the blow.
In his absence…
When the Hartlepool skipper picked up the injury against Wayne Brown’s Colchester, it was Mohamad Sylla who replaced him on the day.
Callum Cooke took his place alongside Mouhamed Niang against Crewe Alexandra earlier this week though, so he may be the leading candidate for a starting spot while Featherstone recovers.
Cooke hasn’t long come into the side though, so it could be wise for Hartley to keep his options open in the middle.
Tom Crawford can drop into a slightly deeper role if needs be too, while Mark Shelton is also an option. It’s not an ideal situation for Hartley, but there is a solid amount of cover for the sidelined Featherstone.