CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine could force their way back into Blackpool squad this season says boss Neil Critchley
The door is open for CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine to be included in Blackpool’s 25-man squad if they return to fitness before January.
Hamilton is set for a spell on the sidelines after a scan confirmed the winger is continuing to suffer with an ongoing foot problem.
The 26-year-old, who has looked off the pace so far this season, broke his fifth metatarsal in March.
Hamilton now requires further surgery to remove a screw causing significant pain and discomfort.
It’s understood it will leave him out of action for at least a couple of months.
Madine, meanwhile, continues to suffer ongoing groin problems that also plagued the second half of last season.
The striker, who has yet to make an appearance this season, underwent surgery during the summer.
The problem is ongoing, however, and the 31-year-old has also been left out of the 25-man squad.
That leaves the Seasiders with three free gaps with Matty Virtue and Grant Ward also omitted as a result of long-term injuries.
Players can, subject to EFL approval, be added to the 25-man squad at any stage during the season.
Addressing Hamilton’s absence, Critchley said: “The screw in his foot has been irritating him and rubbing on the adjacent bone in his foot, which has been troubling him.
“I think we’d all agree CJ hasn’t quite been right this season when he’s been playing and everyone’s seen that. This is the reason why.
“He wanted to persevere with it and manage it the best he could, but we’ve all come to the conclusion that the best course of action is to replace the screw.
“It’s a blow for him personally as well because I know he was looking forward to coming into the Championship and showing his capabilities.
“He’s not been able to be the player he was when he first came to Blackpool. ”
The situation is a little brighter regarding Madine, who has returned to training recently despite enduring a nightmare 2021.
All is not lost according to Critchley, who said: “With the ruling it’s different this season, so you can add any of your players basically 24 hours before a game.
“With Gary’s situation and the way it is, there’s no reason to do that until he’s ready to play.
“He’s trained today (Thursday) and he looked good. He looked fresh and full of energy, so both of us want him back in the squad as quickly as possible.
“He’s not played a lot of football since January, so he needs to do a bit of training for himself to show that he’s capable of training every day and capable of going through the rigours and the intensity of getting knocked about, falling over, getting back up, taking a hit etc.
“Once he does that, which I’m hoping will be sooner rather than later, he’ll be added to the squad and back in our matchday squad.”
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