Hartlepool manager Chris Turner is facing up to the prospect of having Neil Austin sidelined for over a month.
Austin will take no part in his side's Carling Cup encounter against Sheffield United on Wednesday after sustaining an ankle injury in Saturday's draw at Rochdale.
The defender was forced off after a heavy challenge from Dale defender Joe Widdowson but X-rays confirmed there was no fracture, however the club have confirmed he will be missing for up to six weeks.
Club physio James Haycock said: "There was quite a lot of swelling after the game on Saturday and it's still a little swollen but we're thankful the x-ray results were negative."
Steven Haslam is expected to start in Austin's place, meanwhile Turner is still hampered by Adam Boyd and James Brown's fitness problems which prevent the front pair from completing 90 minutes.