Blackpool midfielder Jim McAlister is trying to put a positive spin on things after suffering another setback in his recovery from injury.
The 32-year-old hasn’t played a league game for over a year since fracturing his tibia in the 1-1 draw with Colchester United in February 2017.
He came off the bench for a 30-minute cameo in Blackpool’s Checkatrade Trophy tie against Shrewsbury Town in January, only to suffer a setback just a week later in training.
McAlister took a hit to his leg in the same area as where he initially broke it following an innocuous tackle with defender Will Aimson, which turned out to be severe bone bruising.
He saw a specialist in mid-January who told him he would be out for another eight weeks, but McAlister is hopeful that he might be slightly ahead of schedule.
He said: “It’s definitely improved a lot, having originally been told to put no impact on the leg for up to eight weeks.
“But I did a warm-up with the boys in training on Tuesday to see where I was.
“I wouldn’t say I was completely comfortable running on it but I don’t think I’m too far away – hopefully just a couple of weeks.
“The knock was pretty serious. At the time I was worried because of the impact and the noise.
“When I came together with Will I thought it was broken again but it turned out to be severe bone bruising, which is the stage before a fracture.
“So I was very lucky but mentally I know I can take a hit on it and withstand it.
“It was very frustrating having another setback like that because it was only the week before when I had some game time in the Checkatrade Trophy.
“When you do all that rehab work you think you’ve finally got over that final hurdle, so to receive that setback was tough.
“Everybody is different, some people take longer than others so I’m hoping I’m at the quicker stage.”
McAlister says it has been a frustrating time watching on from the sidelines, especially when Blackpool were struggling for wins.
But the Seasiders, who had been due to host Northampton Town today, have turned it around in recent weeks and are now unbeaten in their last five games, having beaten Wigan Athletic and Portsmouth.
“When the boys start picking up points it’s a lot easier to watch on from the sidelines.” McAlister added.
“When we went through a tough patch, it was difficult being sat in the stands because you feel as though you can’t give any help to your team-mates.
“But the last few weeks has definitely made it a lot easier with the boys picking up a couple of wins.”