JAMES Brown will come in from the cold for Hartlepool United at Chesterfield tomorrow.
Pools boss Mick Wadsworth says the striker is looking as good as he’s ever seen him.
The 24-year-old has been gently eased back to full fitness over the course of the past few months and, away from the rigours of the League One schedule, has built his condition and confidence for the club’s second string.
Indeed, Brown has now completed six successive 90-minute matches, a feat unheard of in recent seasons for the injury-plagued forward.
But Wadsworth will name him on the bench for the trip to the B2Net Stadium, and the manager admits it’s been a patient process with the talented striker.
“Brownie is virtually there in his fitness now,” he said. “He’s had a fantastic couple of months where he’s trained and played regularly.
“This slow build-up, the approach we took from the summer, has, touch wood, worked very effectively.
“He’s scored three or four in the reserves and is looking, in the time I’ve been at the club, the best he has both physically and mentally.
“He’s had a real tough time and we’ve made a conscious effort to get him back to his best.”
Wadsworth will definitely be without Nobby Solano (hamstring), Antony Sweeney (groin) and Colin Larkin (knee) tomorrow afternoon.
Solano is still two weeks away from a return but the news on Sweeney is more positive. He could be back in training as early as Monday and that would put the player of the season in the frame for next week’s home double-header with Tranmere Rovers and Charlton Athletic.
The more pressing matter is the clash with the Spireites and Wadsworth must decide whether to recall benched front duo Adam Boyd and Colin Nish.
Andy Monkhouse and James Poole are also bidding to keep their starting jersey having been included for last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Wycombe Wanderers.