BEN Burgess was clattered on his return to action after injury.
The Seasiders striker was having his first game after six weeks out following surgery to his knee.
But it was heart-in-the-mouth time when he collapsed after being kicked in the back of the leg during last night's reserve team match against Chester City.
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The incident happened just before half-time and the frontman did not reappear after the break.
However, he insisted today that he is fine. "I was only ever going to play 45 minutes," he said. "That was the plan from the start and there is no problem at all.
"Getting a whack on the leg hurt a bit and I needed treatment but I was able to carry on after the injury so there's nothing to be worried about – there's been no reaction in the knee at all.
"I think I'll be OK for the Southampton game and I'm just aiming to continue working hard in training and make sure I give myself the best possible chance of being involved for that game."
Manager Simon Grayson certainly hopes so. He wants a fit Burgess to enable him to shake up the front line and put pressure on the other strikers.
Despite the loss of Burgess, a strong Seasiders second string still beat Chester 2-0.
Michael Flynn scored after 43 seconds and substitute Danny Mitchley – a youth team striker who has been a prolific scorer for the reserves this campaign – notched the second late on.
The match also marked the return of Stephen Crainey and Adrian Forbes.
Crainey, who was named captain, is coming back from a hamstring injury picked up in the Carling Cup defeat at Spurs. Forbes has been sidelined for seven weeks after undergoing an operation to repair a damaged cartilage.
Crainey played the full 90 minutes, while Forbes got on longer on the pitch than he was anticipating – he came on after 25 minutes to replace the injured Michael D'Agostino.
"It was a good work out for a lot of players and a competitive, lively contest," said Tony Parkes, who watched the match along with Grayson and Steve Thompson.
"On a bad night conditionwise, the lads didn't shy away from the task. It was an even game for a long while but we played well second half and deserved the result."
First teamers Scott Vernon and Andy Welsh also got important run-outs, while Marcus Bean appeared in Tangerine for the first time since returning from his loan spell at Rotherham.
POOL: Lewis Edge, Matty Kay, Scott Metcalfe, Stephen Crainey, Ashton Bayliss, Michael D'Agostino (Adrian Forbes 25), Marcus Bean, Michael Flynn, Andy Welsh, Scott Vernon (Danny Mitchley 70), Ben Burgess (Phil Marsh 45).