Chris Basham has handed Blackpool a huge boost by promising Paul Ince he’ll be fit for the trip to Birmingham on Saturday week.
The versatile 25-year-old hasn’t played since injuring his ankle in the 2-2 draw with Blackburn last month.
But he’s back training and expects to be available when Pool return to action after the international break.
Basham said: “I’ll definitely be involved at Birmingham if everything goes well this week, which will be good. I said to the gaffer I will be there.
“It’s going well. I’ve been training with the physio, but by the back end of this week I’ll certainly be training with the lads again and looking forward to the Birmingham game.”
Basham is one of five regular first-team starters who missed last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat against Ipswich, and the forthcoming blank weekend could not come at a better time.
He added: “I’m taking it carefully and I’ll start again properly on Monday.
“I’ve not lost much fitness because I’d been playing every game, so I should be fine.
“The international break has come at the right time because I didn’t want to rush back and hurt it again, which could put me out for another two or three weeks.
“It feels really good and I could probably start training with the lads tomorrow, but the main thing is to do it right with (physio) Phil Horner.”
Basham has been in the best form of his career this season, having played 14 times in a host of positions.
He’s one of many who have been asked to plugs gaps in unfamiliar positions after injuries rocked the squad.
Not that it concerns the former Bolton man. “Everyone is filling in everywhere – Bish (Neal Bishop) is playing all over and Bradley (Orr) played left-back.
“That is what the lads are like and we don’t mind doing that,” he said.
“I was at the game Saturday and a bit disappointed we couldn’t see it out.
“It wasn’t the best we’ve played all season, but we’ll have games like that and hopefully against Birmingham we’ll put that right.
“Against Ipswich we had lads playing in different positions. We had four or five players out and the captain wasn’t there.
“Beating Nottingham Forest was a brilliant result, so we’ll put Ipswich behind us, go to Birmingham and beat them.
“I can’t wait to be back involved. I had my boots on yesterday, which was a nice feeling.”
Saturday’s defeat was only the second of the season for the Seasiders, who remain fourth in the Championship table.
It’s a status Basham believes they can maintain. He said: “December will be busy, and if we can get a good run there’s nothing to say we can’t stay top.
“All the lads believe – that belief is what has got us here.
“We’ve beaten the teams around us, so let’s keep going.
“We’ve been on a great run. We might have a little stumble but we haven’t faced a team better than us so far and I think we’ve proved that.”