Hartlepool have been dealt a huge blow with the news striker James Brown faces at least 12 weeks on the sidelines with further knee problems.

Brown only returned for Pools in August having spent nine months on the sidelines recovering from his second ruptured cruciate ligament in the space of four years.

But he experienced swelling to the knee following last Tuesday's defeat to Southampton and subsequently went for a scan. The results highlighted a lateral cartilage tear which ruled him out of Tuesday night's defeat at Carlisle, and he will now undergo surgery on Wednesday before starting his rehabilitation.

Boss Chris Turner told the club's official website: "This is another piece of bad news for us and we are distraught for James because you would have thought he'd suffered enough with injury.

"These things happen in football and unfortunately you just have to get on with it."

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