Paul Ince says he’s absolutely devastated by the training-ground injury to Matt Phillips.
The winger had an operation on a broken arm on Saturday and is expected to be out of action for up to three months.
It’s a big blow for the Seasiders, who are already short of players with the season less than three weeks away.
Manager Ince said: “I’m absolutely devastated. These incidents can happen to anyone but for it to happen to one of our top players is devastating. Matty came back like a house of fire, he really had. The way he’d been training, and how he was playing at the end of last season, he was back to what he was before.
“I know it was only Penrith (Pool’s first friendly opponents nine days ago), but you saw how well he and Thomas Ince combined. I felt comfortable knowing we had those two. To lose someone of his quality is a massive, massive blow.”
Pool need as many as nine new players in time for the season-opener against Doncaster on August 3.
Ince has had little luck in the transfer market so far and the latest injury news only makes matters worse.
“You can’t just go out and get another Matty Phillips,” he said. “I’m gutted for the lad as he was looking forward to the start of the season. He will be (out for ) two or three months and it’s a big blow.”