Hartlepool go into their clash against Oldham boosted by the news goalkeeper Jake Kean has extended his loan spell at the club.

Kean, borrowed from Blackburn, has impressed since his arrival at Victoria Park in September, keeping nine clean sheets in 18 appearances.

The 19-year-old will remain in the north east until February and will continue in place of the injured Scott Flinders (hand), who returned to light training this week.

Fellow stopper Andy Rafferty returns to the bench as back-up to Kean following a hand problem of his own.

Andy Monkhouse is suspended after the winger was booked for the fifth time this season in the Boxing Day win over Huddersfield.

Billy Greulich (ankle) is still out but Peter Hartley has overcome a dead leg.

Oldham boss Paul Dickov has a virtually full-strength squad available as his side make a long-awaited return to action.

The Latics have not played since November 27 after matches against Walsall, Swindon, MK Dons, Carlisle and Colchester were all postponed.

But midfielder Ritchie Jones has recovered from hamstring and groin injuries, leaving Dickov with no major injury concerns.

And after the home derby with Rochdale just two days later, the loan spells of three players - Arsenal's Cedric Evina, Leeds United's Aidan White and Preston's Neal Trotman - come to an end.

Dickov is keen to keep all three men for a hugely-busy period featuring eight further matches inside 29 days as the Latics play a number of rearranged games.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms