Hartlepool skipper Antony Sweeney could make his first appearance since early August against Oxford.
Midfielder Sweeney, sidelined with a torn calf muscle, was restricted to a role as unused substitute last week due to illness, but is hoping to feature as Pools look to build on their recent revival.
But fellow midfielder Brad Walker is set to miss out again as the teenager continues to recover from the ankle injury which has kept him out of the last two matches.
Veteran striker Steve Howard is hoping to return to the squad, while manager Colin Cooper has no new selection problems following last week's draw at Bristol Rovers.
Oxford will be without suspended duo Andy Whing and Dave Kitson for their first trip to Hartlepool for a decade.
Whing was handed a straight red card in the 1-0 loss to Chesterfield and the U's decided against appealing the decision, ruling the midfielder out for the next three games.
Former Reading striker Kitson picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in that defeat and with captain Jake Wright, James Constable, Jon Meades and Max Crocombe all missing it leaves Chris Wilder rather short of bodies.
Alfie Potter could start behind Deane Smalley as the U's look to get back to winning ways having tasted defeat for the first time in League Two this season.