Hartlepool first-team coach Mick Wadsworth believes the return of Paul Murray will give his side a vital boost after losing to Rochdale last week.
Murray, 34, was left on the bench to recover from a niggle but should return to the side at Swindon on Saturday.
"He's such an important player for us, we need to get him back on the pitch," Wadsworth told BBC Tees.
"He screens the back four, reorganises the midfield and gives us that little bit of experience."
The former Carlisle and Gretna midfielder joined Hartlepool in August 2010 on a short-term deal which was then extended until the end of the season.
He has made 38 appearances for the club, scoring once.
Pools have been beset by injuries, with top scorer Anthony Sweeney, striker James Brown, and defenders Neil Austin and Armann Bjornsson all missing the visit of Rochdale.
"We are what we are, I've never bleated about it, we just get on with it," Wadsworth continued.
"Losing players doesn't help, and if they're key players even more the case, and we have some players we just cannot leave out.
"We just cannot leave any of the back four out, and I have to commend Evan [Horwood], as he's played the last four weeks with a very sore ankle.
"He's fit enough to play and he wants to play which is great, but it's hard to change."