Blackpool dealt major blow as key duo are ruled out for the remainder of the season

Blackpool’s injury crisis has gone from bad to worse with the news Matty Virtue and CJ Hamilton will miss the remainder of the season.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 6:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 27th March 2021, 6:28 pm

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A scan has shown Virtue tore his ACL during last weekend’s 2-0 win at Oxford United.

Hamilton, meanwhile, broke his metersaral during the goalless draw against Fleetwood Town, not long after returning from a lengthy lay-off with a hamstring injury.

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“It’s not great news, if I’m honest,” Critchley told The Gazette about the pair. “Unfortunately they’re both going to be out for some time.

“I’ll have to be the bearer of bad news with Matty, as he’s done his ACL. That’ll keep him out for a significant period of time.

“That’s a big loss because I thought he was like a new signing for us December and January time, he was like a new player. He was getting fitter and stronger all the time.

“He was fantastic at Oxford last week, so to get that news during the week was a sickening blow for us.

Matty Virtue suffered his injury during last week's game against Oxford

“It’s a double whammy, because CJ has broken his fifth metatarsal. He had to have an operation in the week to pin it, so that’s his season done as well.”

The Seasiders are currently missing eight first-team players, seven through injury and Dan Ballard to international duty.

While Pool won’t be seeing either Virtue or Hamilton any time soon, some of the other injured players aren’t too far away from returning.

“Marvin (Ekpiteta) has been back out on the grass for the last week and there’s been no setbacks in terms of his rehab, so hopefully we can step that up again next week,” Critchley added.

“Fingers crossed Danny Ballard comes through international duty, so he could be available by next Friday (Swindon Town away).

“We’re hoping James Husband will train next week as well, so we could have a few bodies as well.

“Gary (Madine) went for a scan the other day and it’s slightly improved, so that was good news. We can start to step him back up and hopefully we don’t have any more setbacks with him.

“If he’s okay, it would be great to have him back in a couple of weeks’ time to be in and around the squad, because he would be a big player for us.”

Another player missing from the squad today was young striker Brad Holmes, who had previously been named among the substitutes in Blackpool’s previous two games.

“Brad has got Covid, so he felt some symptoms on Wednesday and was tested straight away,” Critchley said.

“He came back with a positive test, hence why he was missing today.”

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