Gary Bowyer is hopeful that Kelvin Mellor will be fit enough to play some part for Blackpool between now and the end of the season.
It was initially feared Mellor would be out for the rest of the season after the defender suffered ankle ligament damage in February, but the full-back returned to training at the end of last month.
Having missed the last six games, Bowyer hopes to have the 27-year-old back at some point in Pool’s last six games of the season.
When asked if Mellor will feature at any point between now and May 5 – the date of Blackpool’s last game of the season – Bowyer said: “I would certainly hope so, he’s certainly looking that way.
“He’s made good progress this week.
“He won’t be available for this weekend but we certainly think he will feature before the end of the season.”
Bowyer also revealed Mark Cullen is doing fine after the striker came off the bench in Pool’s 2-1 defeat at Oldham Athletic in what was his first appearance for seven months.
The 25-year-old has been sidelined since August and was forced to undergo hamstring surgery back in October.
“We’re delighted with the return of Mark Cullen on Monday and he was fine after his little cameo. He’ll be better for that,” Bowyer said.
“The timing of it is a great boost for us because it’s been well documented how much we’ve missed him this season.
“He does exactly what it says on the tin: he scores goals. At this crucial time of the season he’s a great one to have back.
“We were in this position last year when it was all to play for. We spoke then about concentrating on just doing your job – don’t come in and try to do things you’ve not tried all season.
“That’s the message again this season, it’s exactly the same. It’s do your jobs properly and Mark Cullen does that, he scores goals, so we’re delighted to have him back in the mix.
“Mark and Jim (McAlister) are two special characters and special personalities about the place.
“Any football club will tell you they need those types.
“That’s the massive respect I have for them in terms of how they’ve conducted themselves.
“They’ve both had highs and lows on their recoveries but they’ve never stopped supporting the lads and encouraging everybody, which is great to see.”