Dave Jones looks set to have wing wizard Nathan Thomas back in action for Hartlepool United’s crucial League Two clash with Yeovil Town on Saturday.
The 22-year-old ex-Sunderland academy player returned to the squad for the last home game against Stevenage following a long lay-off after groin surgery.
Thomas played the last few minutes but did not feature last Saturday at Newport, having had treatment for a niggle or two during the week.
As boss Dave Jones said last Friday, he was not prepared to risk the long-term fitness of the forward, a wise decision given the heavy state of the Rodney Parade field.
However, the combination of a weekend off with further treatment should ensure Thomas lines up against the Glovers at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.
Doubts remain over Billy Paynter who has been undergoing treatment from head physio Ian Gallagher for an Achilles problem.
The club captain, who has netted four goals this season, had been due to play against Stevenage, only to be forced to cry off injured.
Top scorer Padraig Amond is likely to start after coming off the bench at Newport and notching his 10th of the season.
Jones certainly has more options up top after this week strengthening his front line options with a double signing.
The Pools boss has brought in two young prospects for the remainder of the season.
Striker Andrew Nelson has joined on loan from Sunderland, with Plymouth Argyle’s Louis Rooney doing likewise, and both are likely to feature in the squad as Pools chase their first double of the season.
On the subject of goal-getters, it has emerged that Nicky Deverdics this week turned down a loan switch to Gateshead.
Nonleaguedaily.com reported that the National League club had tried to sign the 29-year-old after their star midfielder Sam Jones joined Grimsby Town for an undisclosed fee.
Heed boss Neil Aspin wanted the left-footer, who scored 16 times last season for Dover Athletic in the same division.
But the former Pools centre-half was met with a polite ‘no’ from Deverdics, who had a spell at the International Stadium a decade ago following his release by Newcastle United.
Deverdics has opted to stay at the Vic and fight for his place under new manager Jones.
He has made 24 appearances this season, the majority from the bench, scoring twice.