HARTLEPOOL United will be without marauding right-back Michael Duckworth for at least a month after undergoing a double hernia operation.
The 21-year-old missed the weekend match against Rochdale after failing a late fitness test and went to see a specialist on Monday morning, the Sky Bet League Two club has confirmed.
Duckworth went under the surgeon’s knife on Tuesday night.
Physio Ian Gallagher has been told that all has gone to plan and that Duckworth can begin his rehabilitation programme early next week.
“The operation is identical to the one Jordan Richards underwent recently,” Gallagher told the club’s website.
“Michael will be off for the rest of the week but we’ll get him back in on Monday morning and begin his recuperation which should see him back in training in around four to six weeks.”
Duckworth was signed from Bradford Park Avenue in August following a successful pre-season trial and went on to start in 27 consecutive games before the 3-0 defeat to Rochdale at Victoria Park on Saturday.
Pools boss Colin Cooper added: “One thing the specialists have said to us is that Michael will come back fitter and stronger from this so we’ve got the operation done quickly and now he can concentrate on his recuperation.”