COLIN Cooper has expressed his “disappointment” after it was confirmed Hartlepool United winger Andy Monkhouse has been ruled out for at least four weeks writes RICHARD MENNEAR.
The experienced 33-year-old suffered the grade two strain in his left hamstring just 15 minutes into Saturday’s stunning 4-0 win over Bristol Rovers at Victoria Park.
Immediately after the game Cooper feared the left winger would be out for at least three weeks and the bad news has been confirmed by the club’s medical department.
Grade two strains usually take between four to six weeks to recover from but the physio department at the Sky Bet League Two club are hoping he’ll make a return within four weeks.
Either way he will certainly miss a large chunk of the remaining fixtures as 10th-placed Pools only have nine games left to play in League Two this season.
At the very least Monkhouse is expected to miss matches against sixth-placed Oxford United on Friday night, followed by home matches against Mansfield Town next Tuesday (March 25) and Cheltenham the following Saturday (March 29).
Monkhouse, who joined the club from Swindon Town in January 2007, is also expected to miss the matches against Portsmouth away (April 5) and Chesterfield at home (April 12).
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He has been an important part of the first-team this season, scoring six times in 39 appearances, with three assists to his name, so his spell in the treatment room will come as a blow.
Club officials say head physio Ian Gallagher is hopeful the winger can be back in action in around a months time.
But in the meantime, the manager has challenged other players to step up and take their chance.
Jack Compton, 25, who came on for Monkhouse at the weekend, is expected to enjoy a run in the side and Cooper is looking for him to repeat his early season form.
Cooper said: “It’s disappointing news because Andy has played a lot of games for us this season in a few different positions as well.
“The positive is that Jack Compton came off the bench and had an impact in the game against Bristol Rovers and he looked bright.
“It’s up to Jack now to try and finish the season in the kind of form he started it, and if he can do that then we will all benefit.
“It presents an opportunity for someone, if not Jack then one of the other players who think they can have an impact in that position.”