Ian Evatt is making huge strides in his fitness battle and he will sacrifice his summer to be fit for the start of next season.
The defender hasn’t played since the draw at Bristol City back in November, when he suffered a microfracture of his kneecap.
His injury was so serious it could have ended the 31-year-old’s career.
But after an operation in London and seven months of treatment, he’s aiming to be fit in time for the start of pre-season training in June.
“My knee is feeling really good now,” Evatt said.
“I went to see a specialist last week. He’s delighted with my progress and said I’m well ahead of schedule.
“I will hopefully back in full training come June.
“I had a microfracture of the knee. It was quite serious actually.
“My knee has responded really well and I’ve been given the all-clear to start kicking on now.
“I can start to strengthen again now. I need to get my thigh back, get the strength back in it and go from there.”
Evatt is closing in on 200 league appearances for the Seasiders and has been a hugely popular player since joining in 2007.
While his team-mates are looking forward to jetting off this summer on holiday, Evatt will be spending his at the FA’s new £105m National Football Centre at St George’s Park in Staffordshire.
Not that it seems to bother him.
“I’m killing off my summer but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make,” he said.
“I’m going to St George’s Park, the new England centre, for two weeks next month.
“That will give me one-to-one intensive training and treatment.”
Evatt is one of the big characters in Pool’s dressing room and has undoubtedly been missed at the heart of their defence.
A lot has gone on at Bloomfield Road since he last pulled on the shirt and he admits it’s been tough to sit back and watch.
He added: “It’s been really hard watching my mates struggle. It’s been a weird atmosphere with all that’s gone on. Hopefully we can write this season off and come back strong next season.
“Being out of the team for seven months has really upset me. It has hurt.
“With the team not doing so well, I’m just desperate to get back now.
“I’ve got all my hunger for the game back now.”