Trevor Carson is set to find out today the extent of his toe injury - with Adam Bartlett breathing down his neck to start the new League Two season in goal.
Former Sunderland keeper Carson is Ronnie Moore’s number one stopper but he missed the 1-0 friendly defeat to Chesterfield with a badly bruised toe after injuring it in training.
Bartlett came into replace him and impressed, with Moore admitting he has a “selection headache” ahead of the visit of Morecambe on Saturday.
But should Carson not make it then the Pools boss has a more than able deputy ready to start the new season in goal. Bartlett had a busy afternoon against Dean Saunders’ Chesterfield and was part of a much-improved defensive performance.
He commanded his area well, showed good hands and made a couple of important saves.
Moore was pleased with the 29-year-old’s performance, who he said did “nothing wrong”.
“Trevor made a save in training on Friday,” Moore said.
“It hit him on the end of his toe but he didn’t feel it then.
“Yet he got up on Saturday and he couldn’t walk on it.
“He phoned Buster but obviously we couldn’t get him in to see anyone straight away so he will have an X-ray today.
“We saw what happened with Mirf [David Mirfin] last year, he had a spell out.
“People say ‘well it is only a toe injury’ but when you have one they are so sore.
“And trying to kick balls and move as a keeper does is tough.
“We won’t know the extent [of the injury] until he has the scan.
“There are no problems though, Adam has come in and done nothing wrong.”
Bartlett, released by Gateshead in the summer, knew when he arrived at Victoria Park that he would be playing second fiddle to Carson.
But his performances this pre-season have given Moore serious food for thought.
Moore added: “It will be difficult to leave Adam out.
“He has come in and kept a clean sheet when the number one keeper is out.
“He has done nothing wrong, came and took crosses when he needed to, made saves and kicked decent balls.
“That is another little selection headache I could do without!”
Carson had only just recovered from a groin strain before injuring his toe in training.