COLIN Cooper says there is no timescale on when Jack Compton will return to Hartlepool United’s starting line-up after tearing his calf over the festive period.
But the 46-year-old admits it won’t be easy for the 25-year-old winger to walk straight back into the team when he is fit to return.
Cardiff-born Compton was Cooper’s first signing after taking over the management reigns in the summer and the left-footed winger has gone on to make 24 appearances, scoring four and making three goals so far this season.
The former Bradford City and Portsmouth player had been a regular in the Pools team until he tore his right calf after just 17 minutes of the 1-1 draw away to Chesterfield on Boxing Day.
Compton was replaced by James Poole and the injury brought an end to his festive period at Pools, missing the 2-1 win away to Morecambe and the 3-0 home defeat to Bury at Victoria Park on New Year’s Day.
His manager said it is now a case of “how long is a piece of string” and said there is no return date although Pools don’t play again until this Saturday when Rochdale visit The Vic in Sky Bet League Two.
Pools have just enjoyed a rare weekend off as a result of not making it through to the FA Cup third round and their League Two match away to Southend United was also rearranged.
Trimdon-born Cooper said: “He has got a tear in that calf so really it is a case of ‘how long is a piece of string’.
“If you tear a calf then you need time.
“The plus point was once we got Bury out of the way then we don’t play again until the 11th and that will be Jack’s target.
“But all I will say is you will have to do something to get back in the team when you leave the door open for someone else to come in.”
l Hartlepool United visit Northern League side Consett in the second round of the Durham Challenge Cup this week.
The game has been put back 24 hours from the original scheduled date, to avoid
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a clash with Sunderland’s Capital One Cup semi-final 1st leg tie with Manchester United.
It will now take place this Wednesday, January 8, at Consett’s new Belle View Stadium (KO 7.30pm), which has a state-of-the-art 3G pitch. Admission is £6 for adults, £3 for OAPs and £1 for under-16s.
Consett have several ex-Pools players in their squad, including striker Michael Mackay, and defenders Micky Barron and Michael Pearson.