JAKE Kean will return to Blackburn Rovers at the end of the month providing Scott Flinders can prove his fitness over the coming weeks.
Flinders dislocated his thumb back in September but his rehabilitation has been hampered by the weather which has decimated the reserve-team calendar as well as the training schedule.
Pools, though, have arranged a friendly at Northern League Horden Colliery Welfare for tonight (KO 7pm) and the 24-year-old goalkeeper is set to feature.
Flinders' deputy, Andy Rafferty, also suffered a hand injury just a few weeks into the new season, leading to the recruitment of teenage stopper Kean.
The 19-year-old has been outstanding since his arrival at The Vic and has recorded an impressive nine clean sheets.
But Pools boss Mick Wadsworth wants to give No.1 Flinders the chance to again prove his worth and, should he come through the next couple of weeks with no ill effects, will take his place in-between the posts for the trip to Brighton on February 12.
"Jake has been brilliant for us and still has a major part to play during the rest of the month," Wadsworth told SportMail today..
"But we've got two outstanding goalkeepers in Scott and Andy and I think Scott will be ready at the start of February.
"And Jake knows that. He's been absolutely fantastic but we have to put faith in our own."
>> Read the full article in Tuesday's Mail