Motherwell: Peter Hartley out for two months with foot injury

Motherwell defender Peter Hartley
Motherwell defender Peter Hartley has made 17 appearances, scoring three times, since joining from Blackpool

Motherwell centre-back Peter Hartley has been ruled out for two months with a foot injury.

The 29-year-old was assessed by a specialist after aggravating the injury before the winter break.

"Peter is not going to require surgery but he is going to be out for a minimum of two months," said Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson.

"It's a problem that he had with his foot, just innocuous, jogging along, and he felt something pop in his foot."

Hartley joined Motherwell on loan from Blackpool at the beginning of the season, then made the move permanent in January when he signed a contract until 2020.

Motherwell defender Tom Aldred and St Johnstone striker Denny Johnstone
Tom Aldred joined Motherwell on loan from Bury and has helped to fill in for the injured Hartley

The defender has not featured in Motherwell's past five matches, but Robinson is relieved that the injury is not as severe as the club thought initially.

"We have had him see a specialist," Robinson said.

"It wasn't as bad as possibly we first feared, but we will be lucky to get him back before the end of the season."

The Motherwell manager does not intend to sign a replacement defender, even though Ellis Plummer is out with a broken leg, since loanee Tom Aldred and academy graduate Barry Maguire have stepped into the breach.

Robinson may, though, look to add to his striking options if he can identify any suitable free agents.

"We're always looking, we have some potential targets that we are looking at this week," the Motherwell manager added.

"Ryan Bowman has been training all week so he could be involved on Saturday. George Newell has just been a bit stop-start, he has had a foot problem and then a hamstring problem.

"If I had both of them fully fit then probably not but we are still keeping our eyes and ears to the ground to see what's out there."

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