STRUGGLING Hartlepool United have been dealt a big blow, with winger Jack Compton ruled out of action until the New Year.
The 26-year-old midfielder will today undergo a knee operation which will keep him out of action for a minimum of three months.
It is a blow to the Sky Bet League Two’s bottom club, who are already low on numbers.
Compton hobbled off just before half-time in the recent goalless draw against Portsmouth and scans on his injured knee showed a tear to the lateral meniscus.
“We’ll know much more after the operation but the surgeon has advised that Jack will be out of action for at least three months,” said physio Ian Gallagher.
Compton, who has made eight appearances this season, joins former Middlesbrough defender Stuart Parnaby (knee) on the injured list,.
Meanwhile, David Atkinson, who signed on loan from Middlesbrough to provide cover both in defence and midfield, is also out with a hamstring injury and has been getting treatment at his parent club.
The 21-year-old utility man is yet to make a first team appearance for Pools since signing on an initial one-month deal.
Pools are heavily reliant on loan players at the minute and the last thing caretaker boss Sam Collins needed was another player out injured.
It does, however, open the door for the likes of youngsters Lewis Hawkins and Kieran Green to continue to stake their place for a first-team start.
Both midfielders impressed in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and caretaker boss Sam Collins hailed their performances afterwards.
Jonathan Franks, who has been playing up front earlier in the season, is also pushing for a start after missing two games and could come into midfield at Exeter this weekend.