Tom Pope: Port Vale striker out until January with knee injury

Tom Pope
Port Vale striker Tom Pope has hit nine goals this season, despite having one run of nine games without a goal

Port Vale striker Tom Pope faces three months on the sidelines after being ruled out with a knee ligament injury.

"It's come just as he's hit a burst of scoring form," said Vale boss Rob Page. "But he's chomping to get back as fast as he can. Tom's a quick healer."

Pope has undergone a lateral knee ligament operation which is expected to keep him out of action until January.

But Page is confident that he has enough options to overcome the loss of his nine-goal top scorer.

Tom Pope's Port Vale record
Tom Pope has netted 66 goals in 177 games since joining Port Vale, initially on loan, in 2011. Half of that tally came in one season, Pope having scored 33 goals to help Vale win promotion to League One in 2013.
Prior to the 2012-13 season, the Stoke-born boyhood Vale fan had scored only 29 goals in 163 league games for Crewe, Rotherham and Vale.
Pope scored 16 goals in all competitions as Vale finished ninth in League One last term, and has netted nine this season, but went nine games without a goal from 23 August to 7 October.

"We have Jordan Slew, Ben Williamson, Dany N'Guessan and Louis Dodds who can all play up top so we are not short in that area," Page told BBC Radio Stoke.

"It's something we have to get on with and I'm disappointed for the lad himself, but he will come back bigger and better from it.

"He's just got to work hard now to keep on top of his fitness as much as he can and hit the ground running as soon he is back."

Pope went off injured in the 2-2 draw with Scunthorpe United on 21 October, and a scan has since revealed the full extent of the injury.

The injury may have cost the 29-year-old striker, who had also been linked with League One side Barnsley, a January move to Championship side Millwall.