HARTLEPOOL United boss Mick Wadsworth has today spoken of the “huge blow” as two of his strikers undergo knee surgery.
Colin Nish and Colin Larkin both require operations to mend cartilage problems and the pair could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Nish broke down in training last Friday and was immediately ruled out of the FA Cup visit of Stevenage, which they lost 1-0.
The Scottish frontman had only just recovered from an ankle problem but is now facing an extended period in the treatment room.
Pools chief Wadsworth has revealed his disappointment at the news.
“It’s a huge blow, for sure,” he said today.
“Colin (Nish) had only just come back from a slight ankle problem but had trained very, very well and all of the staff were delighted with him.
“We don’t know how long he’ll be out for and we’ve got to see how his knee is after the surgery.
“But it’s very disappointing for Colin, and for the team, because he was looking to regain the form he showed during our unbeaten run.”
Larkin, meanwhile, suffered a setback in his recovery from a similar injury last week and he, too, will go under the knife today.
The Irishman hasn’t kicked a ball since the end of August and, each time he has edged close to a return, has been struck down with a fresh problem.
Wadsworth went on: “Colin’s been on a long road to recovery and this is another setback.
“It’s a real disappointment because Colin brings a lot to the team and had looked very sharp over the summer.
“That pace he brings is very useful and he, too, had done well at the start of the season.
“Again, we’ll see how he is later in the week before looking at how long he’ll be out for.”
Meanwhile, James Brown (groin) and Sam Collins (calf) will continue to be assessed today after they were also hit with injury during a devastating one-hour period last Friday.
The loss of Nish and Larkin, as well as Brown’s new problem, leaves Pools with just James Poole and Adam Boyd as fit, recognised forwards, although Andy Monkhouse looks set to continue in a more advanced role at Scunthorpe United on Saturday.