Blackpool receive encouraging update on Kevin Stewart, plus updates on Kenny Dougall and Sonny Carey

Blackpool have received some promising news regarding the extent of Kevin Stewart’s niggling ankle injury.

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 9:00 am

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The midfielder had been hoping to make his return against Swansea City yesterday only to suffer another setback during the international break.

Stewart has endured an injury-plagued campaign, making just three appearances and not featuring since the defeat at Nottingham Forest last month.

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The 28-year-old recently visited a specialist though and the news was better than first feared.

“It was quite good news really,” head coach Neil Critchley told The Gazette after yesterday’s 1-1 draw.

“He saw the specialist and there was nothing untoward there.

“He had an injection and we have to let that settle down for the next 48 hours and he will start to progress with his rehab.

Stewart's ankle problem won't require surgery

“The bonus with that is that he doesn’t require an operation, so after a couple of days of rest he can begin to build back up again.

“Psychologically, that’s important for Kev that he heard that news.”

The news will come as a big boost to Critchley, who is already light on options in the centre of midfield.

Matty Virtue and Grant Ward are longer-term injury concerns, while Kenny Dougall was only named on the bench on Saturday after travelling back from international duty.

The midfielder remained an unused substitute as Callum Connolly took his place in the side alongside Ryan Wintle.

“Kenny is fine,” Critchley said.

“He played his first game in Australia and the second game was in the UAE, so he was sort of halfway home already.

“Callum has been training brilliantly well and he maybe deserved an opportunity before today.

“I felt it was the right time for him to come into the game and start and I thought he contributed to a really terrific performance.”

Despite Pool’s injury concerns, they’re still able to boast an impressive strength in depth - with the likes of Sonny Carey not even making the match day squad against Swansea.

“It’s really difficult and it’s difficult for the players to understand my decision-making sometimes,” Critchley continued.

“I try to explain it to them. They don’t always have to agree and it was difficult leaving Sonny out because he’s been excellent.

“Tuesday night brings another opportunity, so who knows it could be different.”

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