Bowyer boosted by Blackpool’s injury updates

Blackpool have had good news on Mark Cullen's return from injury
Blackpool have had good news on Mark Cullen's return from injury

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer have been boosted with not one, not two, but three bits of positive news on the injury front.

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Jim McAlister and Mark Cullen, two of Blackpool’s long-term absentees this season, have been to see specialists this week to assess where they’re currently at.

McAlister is continuing his long return after beaking his leg in February of last year during the 1-1 draw against Colchester United.

Cullen, meanwhile, is recovering after being forced to undergo hamstring surgery in October.

“Jim has been to the specialist and they’ve given him the go-ahead to step it up a little bit again,” Bowyer said.

“Their definition of a ‘little bit’ and Jim’s definition are totally different; the boy is desperate to play.

“But he’s just got to carry on now. His attitude is first class and he’ll be back in training with us.

“With Jim, he’s been able to do all the running so, physically, he’s an unbelievable specimen anyway. His energy and fitness levels are incredible.

“So once he has a couple of weeks training, it won’t take him long in terms of match fitness to get back up to speed.

“Mark Cullen on the other hand, it’s a bit of a different situation in the sense he’s not really had a sustained period of football with us.

“That makes it a bit more difficult.

“He also went to see the specialist this week and he’s happy with the way it’s going.

“We were a little bit concerned about it but the specialist has put all our fears to one side and told him to crack on.

“We’re delighted with that, so we’ve had two bits of good news.”

But the good news doesn’t end there, as the club were informed earlier this week that Kelvin Mellor won’t require surgery despite suffering ankle ligament damage.

Bowyer added: “With Kelvin, we’ve also been told he doesn’t need an operation which is another positive.

“At first we thought he would be out for the season but now we hope we can get him back for the last couple of games, which would be a boost.”

Blackpool will be without Nathan Delfouneso against Southend United at Bloomfield Road after he picked up concussion in Tuesday’s 1-0 win against Charlton Athletic.

However, the 27-year-old should be fine for the trip to MK Dons next Saturday.