HARTLEPOOL striker James Poole will today visit a specialist in a bid to end his drawn-out injury saga.
The 21-year-old is hoping that a series of injections could be the answer to curing the hamstring problem which has kept him sidelined since Boxing Day.
Poole would have again been unavailable for the postponed weekend fixture with Bury and he will almost certainly be absent for Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth, taking the number of games missed to seven.
Today’s news offers a glimmer of hope for both the player and manager Neale Cooper, who is growing increasingly frustrated at not being able to call upon the young striker.
“I feel desperately sorry for James,” he said. “He’s seeing a specialist today and we’re really hoping big time that this will be the solution.
“It’s so frustrating for James and myself because I know he’s desperate to get back playing.
“I know myself having been a player that there’s nothing worse than being injured when you don’t quite know when you’ll be fit again.
“That’s why we’re all hoping today gives us a better idea of when he’ll be back.”
Cooper is yet to see Poole kick a football – barring DVD highlights – but he has been impressed with the character and personality of the former Manchester City trainee in and around the training ground at Maiden Castle.
“I really like James as a person – I just wish I’d seen him play,” he went on. “He’s a sensible boy and he’ll know his own body. The last thing we’d want is someone saying they’re okay when they’re not.
“We’re working hard with him all of the time but we have to be patient as well.”
Poole is still top marksman at Victoria Park with six goals to his name this term.
Pools are confident that Saturday’s game with Bournemouth will survive the adverse weather – and boss Cooper certainly hopes that is the case.
The Pools boss has already seen his plans for this week disrupted by the snow and freezing temperatures.
The squad were forced to train indoors on Monday and Cooper had intended to take in a reserve-team fixture yesterday afternoon until it was postponed.
But the news coming out of Victoria Park today is that the visit of the Cherries should go ahead barring any sudden snowfall or drastic dip in temperatures.