Gary Liddle return delayed - Pools boss Mick Wadsworth

Gary Liddle
Liddle had featured in all of Pools' matches this season until he suffered the injury against Walsall and missed the midweek fixture with Huddersfield

Hartlepool first-team coach Mick Wadsworth says midfielder Gary Liddle is out of the running for Saturday's trip to Stevenage in League One.

The 25-year-old has been issued with a face mask to allow him to take part in training despite a broken cheekbone, but will not be risked this weekend.

"He's a little bit tender," Wadsworth told BBC Tees.

"Even though he's got permission to train or play when he feels like it, there's no chance for this Saturday."

Wadsworth added: "I'm sure by next week, we'll be looking at him thinking there's a chance for him a week on Saturday."

Liddle picked up the injury in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Walsall at Victoria Park and was able to continue for the full 90 minutes, but has since undergone surgery to correct the damage.

"The key issue was one of safety, and our medical people said that where the fracture was it wasn't in a dangerous place,"

"That being the case, Gary was happy to carry on, and he played the whole game as you know with great ferocity, tenacity, and certainly with no fear of making further challenges.

"But it needed sorting out, that's been done now, a little time was needed for it to settle down and I'm sure we'll see him back on the pitch in a week or so."

Middlesbrough-born Liddle moved to Victoria Park in August 2006 after leaving his home-town club academy and has since scored 17 goals in 244 appearances for the club.