ANTONY Sweeney looks set for a spell on the sidelines, but nonetheless escaped serious injury after the horror tackle which saw Carlisle United reduced to 10-men during last night’s 1-0 defeat.
The 12-goal top scorer felt the full force of Sunderland loanee Liam Noble’s reckless lunge on his right ankle on the stroke of half-time.
There were initial fears that Sweeney, who lay stricken on the turf, could have suffered a broken bone given the ferocity of the challenge.
But Pools are hopeful that, when the heavy swelling eventually does settle, tests will reveal the master marksman has avoided a season-ending injury.
“He’s got a nasty injury on his shin and just above his ankle and there’s quite a bit of swelling,” said Hartlepool boss Mick Wadsworth.
“We’ll have to see how it settles down, but he didn’t move from the couch after half-time and had an ice pack on, but he’s almost certainly out of Saturday’s game against Plymouth.”
And club captain Ritchie Humphreys added: “He seems okay.
“Thankfully it’s one of those which is a whack rather than a twist.
“It’ll be painful no doubt for a few days, but hopefully that will die down with time.”
Noble was given a straight red card for the offence, but an insipid Pools were unable to make their numerical advantage pay after half-time.
And it was the hosts who nicked the only goal, Francois Zoko smashing home an acrobatic scissor-kick in the 67th-minute.