Ferguson targets Pool return

Blackpool's Barry Ferguson
Blackpool's Barry Ferguson
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Barry Ferguson is aiming to be back in action by the end of the month.

The Blackpool skipper has missed the last seven games following an operation on an injured ankle.

The 35-year-old midfielder has been given the go-ahead to step up training after five weeks of total rest.

“I’m not setting myself any targets but hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be available for the manager,” said Ferguson.

“I got the go-ahead last week to step up my rehab. I’ve got the protective boot off now and can start doing the exercises.

“I have started running on a machine which takes my body weight.

“I’m ahead of schedule by a week or two, which is pleasing, though I’m still a few weeks away from playing.”

Ferguson is back on the Fylde coast after undergoing most of his treatment in his native Scotland.

And he explained how he played 110 minutes of football carrying the injury before a scan revealed its severity.

“A (Millwall) lad fell on my ankle and I tore a muscle. Not only that but the bone had moved too, so it was unstable,” he revealed.

“I played the last 20 minutes of that game and then the whole of the game on the Saturday against Leicester.

“I shouldn’t have played but that’s me really.

“The team was doing well and I was enjoying my football, so I wanted to play.

“I saw the surgeon and he said I needed surgery. It was disappointing.”

The injury came with the former Scotland captain in the best form of his Blackpool career.

After considering retirement, Ferguson was handed a new lease of life by Paul Ince, who built his team around the experienced midfielder.

And that makes the timing of Ferguson’s injury all the worse.

He added: “It’s frustrating as I’m enjoying my football.

“I’m enjoying playing in a team which is doing well and I’m really enjoying playing for this manager.

“It’s been a frustrating time for me but it’s part and parcel of football. It won’t affect me. It’s just one of those things.

“I went to one of the best surgeons about and he’s happy with me, so hopefully I’ll be ready to return soon.”

Ferguson’s return will come as a huge boost to Ince and the Blackpool squad.

The skipper is known for his influence on and off the field, though not all of it positive. “I think the lads have missed my moaning,” he joked.

“I’ll be back soon and they’ll soon be sick of me.”