Sheffield United’s Jose Baxter will make his long-awaited return to action at Hartlepool tonight, manager Nigel Clough has confirmed.
Baxter has missed the League One club’s last five games with a hamstring complaint but, barring any late hitches, is poised to start the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round tie.
“Getting Jose back out on the pitch is going to be a big boost for us.” Clough, the United manager, said.
“Because, as we all saw before he had to drop out for a bit, a very influential and talented player for us.
“He’s worked hard to get himself ready and he feels absolutely fine. So, unless he has some sort of reaction in training, then he’ll be making the trip and taking part up there.”
Baxter, had scored three goals in his last five outings before succumbing to injury. Despite forging his reputation as an attacking midfielder with both Everton and Oldham Athletic, the 22-year-old has proved remarkably effective since being deployed in a more advanced role following Clough’s appointment 12 months ago.
“We’ve always maintained that we won’t take any risks with Jose,” he said.
“We’ll always err on the side of caution with every single player in situations like this.
“But he feels fine and he feels ready. He’s been working well with the rest of the lads in training and we’re looking forward to having him back out there again.”