Hartlepool have been dealt a major blow with news that defender Ben Clark requires a hernia operation, which will keep him out for around six weeks.
Clark picked up the injury during pre-season training and after meeting with a specialist, it was decided that the 26-year-old will go under the knife on Friday.
Clark's absence leaves Pools with only two recognised centre-halves, Sam Collins and Peter Hartley, increasing the likelihood that Chris Turner will have to strengthen that area before the new campaign.
Turner told the club's official website: "It's a disastrous situation for us only having two recognised centre-backs and I'm certainly trying to bring someone else in.
"It's a big blow for us to lose Ben so early in pre-season and although he could possibly have played on the best thing is get the injury sorted out sooner rather than later."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms