Blackpool striker puts injury scare aside

Mark Cullen has dismissed any concerns over his fitness
Mark Cullen has dismissed any concerns over his fitness

Blackpool’s Mark Cullen is positive his recent injury scare is nothing to worry about.

The striker missed Tuesday night’s friendly draw at AFC Fylde as a precaution after picking up a knock during the 2-1 win at Nantwich Town on Saturday.

Cullen, who had scored Blackpool’s first goal during that game, appeared to be in a lot of pain after falling awkwardly on his knee, sparking fears of another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The 26-year-old missed large chunks of last season after undergoing surgery on his hamstring in October.

However, the striker has already returned to training and is confident of being ready for the first game of the season at Wycombe Wanderers.

“I twisted my knee a little bit in the game at Nantwich but it’s settled down fine and I trained on Tuesday morning,” he said.

“I’m fine, I just didn’t want to put too much on it too soon.

“So it’s nothing to worry about. I’ll be back training again this week.

“Pre-season has been perfect for me to be honest, it’s been exactly what I needed on a personal note.

“Last season I pretty much missed the whole thing, so to get back in training properly and to get as fit as I can for the start of the season it’s been really good.

“I’ve been given the best chance I can.”

The former Luton Town man, who has scored 22 goals for the Seasiders, made just nine appearances last season after his seven-month lay-off.

Cullen, like most footballers, isn’t a huge fan of pre-season but he’s well aware the tough training sessions will all be worth it when he lines up for Pool in League One this season.

“I’ve not heard anyone say they enjoy pre-season and if they tell you that, they’re lying straight to your face,” he added.

“It’s hard and every day is a grind, you’re tired and you have to come in the next day when your body is aching and you have to go again.

“But it builds you up for a good, strong season and you can only reap the benefits of the work you put in.

“You go somewhere on a Tuesday night when it’s teeming with rain and it’s freezing cold, but your body can withstand it and crack on and get the job done.

“I’m just dying for it to start. We’ve been back for three or four weeks now and it’s been tough work, but it’s all in preparation for 10 days’ time when that first game starts.

“We’re all buzzing for it and I’m sure everyone will be ready to go.”