Hartlepool United are eyeing up a loan swoop – with Ronnie Moore sweating on the fitness of defender Dan Jones.
The 20-year-old missed the club’s final pre-season friendly against Chesterfield, which ended in a 1-0 defeat, with a troubling back injury.
Moore is hoping the injury isn’t a long-term one and revealed a scan didn’t reveal any problems.
But the Pools boss is now playing a waiting game to see whether the highly-rated defender will be fit enough to start against Morecambe when the League Two season kicks off on Saturday.
Moore says he will have to be “on his toes” this week to make sure the club is in a position to act if Jones is ruled out - with talks set to take place with Pools chairman Gary Coxall over loan options.
“Dan has had a scan but it showed nothing,” revealed Moore.
“He is feeling a bit better and we are just hoping it won’t be too long term.
“If it is, then I need to get another centre half in.
“But it wont be an experienced one, not at this time of year.
“It will probably have to be a young kid.
“We’ll see though and fingers crossed Dan will be okay.”
Jones has been playing on the left-hand side of the back three in Moore’s 3-5-2 formation, which Pools will play this season.
Against Chesterfield, Matthew Bates slotted in at the back in place of Jones, partnering Harry Worley and Scott Harrison.
But Moore would look to bring in another defender if Jones is ruled out for a long period of time.
Moore added: “I have to be on my toes to see what is about, if we need someone else to come in at short notice.
“If Dan is out injured then it maybe that I have to speak to the chairman and look to get somebody in on loan.”
Coxall was at The Vic on Saturday, watching on from the stands as Pools were beaten in their final outing of pre-season.
Moore revealed afterwards he was almost late for the 3pm kick-off, having got stuck in traffic as he made his way to Victoria Park from his home in Yorkshire.
“I left ours at 12 and I would normally be at the ground for 1.30pm,” said Moore.
“But I was here for 2.40pm [because of the traffic] - it was a bit nerve-racking.
“The lads were trying to fine me but they have no chance!”
Pools now have another solid week on the training ground at Maiden Castle ahead of the season opener against Morecambe at Victoria Park, this Saturday.
* Ebby Nelson-Addy scored a hat-trick as a young Pools side won 7-1 against Whitley Bay in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
John Hewitson took charge of the side which contained a handful of first team players for the trip to face the Northern League Second Division outfit at Hillheads Park.
Nelson-Addy, Lewis Hawkins and Kudus Oyenuga all started for Pools.