Blackpool have a number of first team injury casualties ahead of a hectic schedule of festive fixtures in League One.
Curtis Tilt was forced off in the 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic last weekend after going in heavy with a late challenge. The Seasiders defender picked up a hip injury and hobbled off in the second half of the win.
Manager Terry McPhillips hasn't revealed the extent of the injury, but Blackpool fans will be hoping it isn’t too serious with a demanding festive period of football on the horizon.
Meanwhile, stand-in captain Jay Spearing could return this weekend after missing the win over Charlton after twisting his ankle in training.
Speaking to The Gazette, McPhillips said: “Jay just twisted his ankle a little bit, it’s nothing major. We probably could have pushed him but precaution said no.
“It was sore and swollen, but I think he’ll be fine for (Oxford United) next week.”
Striker Mark Cullen has not featured for Blackpool since the FA Cup win at Exeter in November. Having initially picked up a knock, Cullen has been dealt a fresh injury blow and is set to be out for six weeks with a stress fracture in his leg. Cullen missed the most of last season through injury.
A more long-term absentee is club captain Jimmy Hill, who is yet to make an appearance for the club so far this season due to a knee injury he suffered in the final game of last season against Rotherham. Having undergone knee surgery in September, McPhillips says the 30-year-old midfielder is ‘ahead of schedule’ and on course for a return to action in the New Year.
Youth prospect Rowan Roache is gaining first-team experience in a loan spell at National League North side FC United. 18-year-old injured his metatarsal in the first week of pre-season training, and didn’t kick a ball for Blackpool by September.
Joe Bunney picked up an injury in August that resulted in a two-month lay off from first team action. His return against Accrington in November saw him gain valuable first team match practice, and the 25-year-old defender’s aim now is to work his way back to full fitness – and into McPhillip’s starting 11.
Forward Max Clayton still is yet to feature in the squad for the Seasiders this season having been ruled out with a long-term hamstring injury. The 24-year-old signed for the club on a free transfer in 2017 having spent three years at Bolton.