Hartlepool United boss Graeme Lee handed injury boost as former Sunderland, Charlton Athletic and Luton Town striker nears return

Graeme Lee has been handed an injury boost ahead of the busy Christmas period as striker Jordan Cook nears a return to full fitness.

By Joe Ramage
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 6:00 am

Cook has not featured since Hartlepool United’s win over Northampton Town back in October after suffering a groin injury, but the 31-year-old has stepped up his recovery since Lee’s arrival as Pools’ new boss and looks set to be in contention over the coming weeks.

The experienced striker, who began his career at Sunderland, has had spells with Carlisle United, Walsall and Luton Town before arriving at the Suit Direct Stadium from non-league Gateshead.

Cook has made just four appearances since joining in the summer but could be a useful member of the squad to have available once more in the coming weeks after impressing the new manager in training.

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Hartlepool United striker Jordan Cook has been missing since early October through injury. Picture by FRANK REID

“He’s trained [fully] now near enough since I came in, he’s just building his fitness up,” Lee told The Mail.

“We done a little 11 versus 11 in training and he showed some little bits of quality and what he can do which was pleasing for me to see so he’ll be another who will start to be in contention for the squads going forward.”

Cook may get another chance to impress Lee in the coming days with the Pools boss keen on securing a bounce game for players who have yet to feature heavily since his appointment.

Lee knows he will need as many players fit and ready as possible over what is a gruelling period which sees Pools contest five games in just 13 days across three competitions.

“I’m looking at trying to get a little game in next week for the lads who haven’t been playing the minutes, just to freshen them up going into the Christmas window,” said Lee.

“There’s that many games coming up, it’s going to be difficult for the same player to be playing every single game in certain positions of the pitch and what we ask from them. So there’s going to be lads who need to be ready.

“That’s why I'm hoping to try and get a little game on Tuesday if we can just to make sure the lads who haven’t played for a couple of weeks are fresh.”

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