Defender likely to miss rest of the year

Blackpool's Gary MacKenzie

Blackpool's Gary MacKenzie

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Blackpool defender Gary MacKenzie is unlikely to play again this year.

The defender hasn’t played since tearing his Achilles tendon against Leeds back in April, having made a failed comeback attempt a month ago.

The 28-year-old centre-half missed all of pre-season but did play in a reserve team game against Morecambe last month.

However, it’s understood his return was premature and MacKenzie will consult a specialist in four weeks before deciding when to attempt another comeback.

It means the Scot is unlikely to see any action until the New Year at the very earliest.

He is joined on the long-term treatment list by Steven Davies, who travelled to London on Friday to see a specialist about a hip injury which has blighted his time at Bloomfield Road.

Davies has managed only two appearances this season, both back in August.

On a more positive note, Jose Miguel Cubero and Peter Clarke are expected to be fit for Pool’s next match at Huddersfield on Saturday week.

Cubero was declared fit enough to link up with the Costa Rican national side today, while Clarke is expected to resume training after an illness which saw him lose almost a stone in weight.

Manager Jose Riga said: “We aren’t really getting much luck with injuries at the moment. We hope to have Peter Clarke back training this week.

“Andrea Orlandi (foot) will benefit from this break now. He has time to get himself fully fit. He’s an important player for us.

“Sadly it looks like MacKenzie will be a long one.”

Despite Pool’s injury issues, Riga wants three of his squad to go out on loan.

Tom Barkhuizen, Charles Dunne and Bobby Grant have all been made available for temporary moves away from Bloomfield Road.

None of the trio have featured for the first team this season.

Ian Holloway’s Millwall saw a loan move for Barkhuizen knocked back on deadline day. The Gazette understands they could come back in for the striker and offer a permanent deal.