TWO of Argyle’s key first team players are set to return to the squad for the trip to Hartlepool United, manager John Sheridan has revealed.Before he was set to skipper the side in the absence of Curtis Nelson against Dagenham & Redbridge in December, centre back Peter Hartley picked up a groin strain, sidelining him for two weeks until a brief appearance against York re-aggravated the injury.
Born in Hartlepool, Hartley wore the captain’s armband for his hometown club during a four-year stint at Victoria Park, and according to the Argyle boss, he has a good chance of returning to action against them on the weekend after impressing during training.
“Pete will tell you that he’s ready, but that’s my decision that I’ll make,” said John.
“He’s good in and around training, sets standards. You don’t have to be the best player, but you can affect people in and around you when you’re training and setting standards. People bounce off of you, and I think that’s what Pete gives a lot to the team.
“He trained yesterday, but with contact he did everything today – twisting, turning, kicking – and he fitted in really well. He doesn’t look short of anything, so he has had a good session today.”
Hartley could well be joined by Luke McCormick, who had to be replaced by James Bittner in the Greens’ draw with Morecambe last time out, wincing in pain and holding his left hand. Scans to the injury, though, appear to have given Luke the all clear to limit his absence from the first team to just 45 minutes.
“Luke’s okay; Luke will be fit,” said Sheridan. “Obviously it was good news from his x-ray that it was not broken.
“It is still a bit sore, but he is available and fit. We all thought when he first went off that it was a lot more serious, because he doesn’t come off just for nothing, but obviously it is good news that he has come back.”