JOHN Hughes will be without one of Hartlepool United’s teen talents for this weekend’s trip to Portsmouth – but he is set to recall another for the relegation face-off.
Jordan Richards will have a scan on his injured knee today and there are fears that the 19-year-old could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Jack Baldwin, however, looks certain to earn a recall for the basement scrap against the team just one place above Pools in League One.
Like Richards, midfielder Antony Sweeney is nursing a knee complaint having been forced off after just four minutes during the midweek defeat to Bournemouth.
Steve Howard also succumbed to injury against the Cherries and a hamstring strain could preclude his involvement for up to six weeks.
Richards’ absence will be offset by the return of Neil Austin, although Hughes has every sympathy for the young right-back, who had won a regular starting berth under the Scot.
“Jordan’s got a knee problem and we’re hoping it’s not too bad, although we don’t know,” said the Pools chief.
SEE Thursday’s Mail for full story