Boss Craig Hignett is convinced that Hartlepool United have the quality to cope without Carl Magnay, who has been ruled out for up to six months.
It was confirmed yesterday that the 27-year-old right-back will have to go under the knife after damaging his cruciate ligament in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Mansfield.
Hignett said: “It is a big blow. It is a long-term one, but there is nothing we can do about it now. While he is a loss to us, we do have options at right-back.
“For all the positions, it is probably the one we could afford an injury.
“We have Liam Donnelly and we have got Jordan Richards who can cover at right-back.”
Hignett had hoped the injury, which forced him off just before the break on Saturday, would not turn out to be too serious.
However, scan results confirmed the worst. Hignett added: “It’s a massive setback for us because he’s a big part of the squad.
“To lose him for such a length of time is terrible news and I am devastated for him, but I have no doubt that he will come back stronger.
“He has had a serious injury like this before so he will know what is in front of him, but he’s mentally strong and we’ll ensure he’s got the best medical support around him to aid his recovery.”