STRUGGLING Hartlepool United have been dealt a heavy blow after it was confirmed winger Jack Compton will be out of action until the New Year.
The 26-year-old is today set to 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 club, currently bottom of Sky Bet League Two, who are already low on numbers.
Compton hobbled off just before half-time in the recent match with Portsmouth at Victoria Park and missed the matches against Carlisle United and Sheffield United, in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Scans on his injured knee showed a tear to the lateral meniscus and he will now undergo surgery on Thursday to repair the problem.
“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 has made eight appearances for the club, which is bottom of the Football League, so far this season, making two assists.
He joins Stuart Parnaby on the injured list, the former Middlesbrough defender has only featured in five matches so far this campaign and is suffering with an ongoing knee problem.
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 loan deal from the Championship side.
Pools are heavily reliant on loan players at the minute and the last thing caretaker boss Sam Collins needed was another player out injured.
Compton - who was former manager Colin Cooper’s first signing for the club - has been inconsistent when he has featured this season but to lose him until the New Year comes as a blow to the squad.
It does, however, open the door for the likes of Lewis Hawkins and Kieran Green to continue to stake their place for a first-team start.
Both midfielders impressed in the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and caretaker boss 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 the Carlisle and Sheffield United defeats and could come into midfield.