Port Vale manager John Askey has said thatTom Pope is a “vital” player but playing him while unfit is “not fair on him or the other players.”
Pope is recovering from a knee injury but Vale have had the luxury of a four match unbeaten run while Pope has been on the sidelines.
The striker is nearing fitness but Askey insists the forward will only play when he is fully recovered.
Askey told the media: “He had an injection earlier on in the week and he is due to have another today so hopefully that will sort him out and we will have a fully fit Tom Pope for next week.
“We think this final injection will cure what he has got. It is to do with his ligament in his knee. Luckily we have done okay without him, but we know there are certain games where we will need Tom.
“The important thing is to get him completely fit because he has been playing when he has not been 100 per cent. He is still vital to us.
“It is frustrating for him because every time he tries to kick the ball he winces with pain. If he is not fit, then it is not fair on him or the other players.”