Injured Hartlepool United duo Michael Duckworth and James Poole to be assessed by medical staff

INJURY FEARS: James Poole (left)
INJURY FEARS: James Poole (left)

INJURED duo Michael Duckworth and James Poole will be assessed today by Hartlepool United’s medical staff, with boss Colin Cooper hoping the pair will be able to make a swift return.

Duckworth missed Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Rochdale after tweaking his groin and was replaced by Jordan Richards at right-back, while Poole started the match but was subbed after an hour after tweaking his right hamstring.

Michael Duckworth

Michael Duckworth

Cooper, 46, said: “Michael has been in such good form and has probably had to stretch his body to its absolute limits.

“I believe this little niggle that Michael has got has probably been a while coming.

“He couldn’t have played. He desperately tried to do a fitness test on Friday but couldn’t kick a ball over any distance.

“He was feeling his groin just twisting and turning a wee bit and you have to be careful that doesn’t turn into something more sinister.”

Poole had actually tweaked his left hamstring in training last week but was fit enough to start Saturday, only to then feel his right hamstring and was subbed.

Trimdon-born Cooper added: “How many consecutive games have James and Michael played in their young careers and maybe six months into a really tough season their bodies are reacting to the kind of work we are trying to do.

“We have to manage that and find a way forward.”