Football - Pools set for Howard boost

Hartlepool striker Steve Howard could return to contention for the home game with Leyton Orient following a hamstring injury.

PA Sport

Howard has missed Pools' last four matches but returned to full training last week and is expected to be included in the squad.

Manager John Hughes has hinted he could make one or two changes following the goalless draw with Portsmouth in midweek.

Winger Andy Monkhouse has staked his claim for a recall to the starting line-up after impressing off the substitutes' bench in recent weeks and teenage forward Luke James is also hoping to make a bigger impact.

There will be no place in the squad for teenage defender Jordan Richards as he will undergo surgery on Friday to repair knee cartilage damage which has ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Pools are unbeaten in their last four league games and could climb off the foot of the table with victory.

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