Hartlepool goalkeeper Andy Rafferty has targeted a return to full training at the start of March.

Rafferty, 24, has been sidelined this season after undergoing surgery in the summer to repair the patella tendon in his left knee, but he has now been told he can step up his rehabilitation.

Pools physio Ian Gallagher told the club's official website: "The specialist is reluctant to rush him back too soon, but is happy with the progress he's making.

"He's been told he can do some light jogging now and some functional goalkeeper training, but he's still not diving or kicking at the moment.

"We'll take him back at the start of March when I'm hopeful he'll get the green light to return to full training."

Rafferty, signed from Guisborough in the summer of 2010 as understudy to Scott Flinders, has made three appearances for Hartlepool.