Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Luke's Return Lifts Gloom of Defeat; Hartlepool Utd FC

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Luke's Return Lifts Gloom of Defeat; Hartlepool Utd FC

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM STEEL

LUKE James will be assessed to see if he is ready to play two consecutive games after making an impressive return for Hartlepool against Sheffield United.

The 17-year-old striker, playing on the right of midfield, made his first appearance since being ruled out with a back injury caused by growing pains as Pools were beaten 1-0 at home by the promotion-chasing Blades at Victoria Park.

Pools boss Neale Cooper is now hoping James will be ready to run out at Colchester on Good Friday, although he will first consult with the club's physios before deciding to include him.

After missing seven games, the teenager played for 74 minutes until being replaced by James Brown.

"It was good to have Luke back," said Cooper. "We will see how he responds in the next couple of days.

"He was excellent and was just tired - he's not trained for five weeks. He is like Antony Sweeney with his energy, but it does catch up with you when you haven't played for so long. …

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