Blackpool’s Max Clayton is confident of putting his two-year injury hell behind him.
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The 24-year-old is out of contract this summer but has been invited by Pool boss Terry McPhillips to return for pre-season training and prove his fitness.
Clayton has endured a horrific run of luck with injuries and played just seven times in his debut campaign after signing from Bolton Wanderers in 2017.
The forward, who has yet to start a League game for the Seasiders, hasn’t seen a single minute of action this season and last played in December 2017 in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Clayton’s hamstring complaint has seen him go under the knife on two separate occasions.
He told The Gazette: “I had the injury originally when I was at Bolton, where basically my hamstring tendons came off from the junction.
“I had to have that re-attached to the bone in 2015 and that took me about eight months to get back from.
“But even after that it still didn’t feel right and I had a year of playing with it. I signed for Blackpool even though I still wasn’t feeling 100 per cent.
“It hadn’t healed properly from the first operation but I didn’t really know how I was meant to be feeling and just assumed I would always feel a bit sore.
“But I had it checked out and it was an old injury, where the tendon came back off the bone, so I had further surgery in 2018.
During my first year with Blackpool I was playing while my tendon wasn’t even attached.
“That was madness really. I should have had it sorted out earlier but we didn’t know.
“But now is the best I’ve felt in a couple of years, which for me mentally is amazing really.
“Everybody else is ready to have a break and have time off, but I’m feeling good now and I’m looking forward to coming back.”
Clayton is champing at the bit to get back on to the pitch and added: “No-one has seen me properly, no-one has seen me fully fit. That’s why I’m working extremely hard, so everyone can see just how good I am.
“Things are starting to look up for me. I’m doing well, I’m running every day and I should be fine for pre-season.”