Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer has revealed Jim McAlister will start scouting the club’s future opposition while he continues his recovery from a broken leg.
The midfielder suffered a fractured tibia during the 1-1 draw against Colchester at the start of the month, an injury expected to keep him out of action for up to six months.
Bowyer said the 31-year-old will be kept busy during his time on sidelines by producing scouting reports on Pool’s opposition.
He said: “He’s showing so much enthusiasm to get back playing, even though he’s got half a pot on still, which he’s desperate to get off because he doesn’t like sitting around.
“We’ve had a chat with him and he’s going to watch some games for us, so he’s still going to be involved. “He will be watching the opposition and helping out on that side.
“It keeps him involved and makes him feel wanted, but at the same time it’s a great opportunity for him to see the other side and see the amount of work and preparation that goes into these meetings we have with the players.
“He’s got good knowledge and I’m looking forward to some of his reports.”
McAlister is now walking in a medical boot and is impatient to return to action.
“We told the specialist to tell Jim he’s not fit for this weekend,” Bowyer joked. “But initially we’re hearing he’ll be out for four to six months, which is obviously a big blow.
“So Jim was delighted to be able to do this when we spoke to him about it.”
Bowyer adopted a similar tactic with Tommy Spurr at Blackburn. The defender was struggling with a groin injury and was sent to watch Rovers’ next Championship opponents to keep him involved.
Bowyer said: “I think it’s important to keep the players involved. And when these players are in the latter days of their career – and I’m not saying Jim or Tommy are – it gives them more of an insight.
“They might not have thought about coaching or management and this will give them a little insight into it.”
The 2017-18 EFL season will begin on the weekend of August 4-6, with fixtures revealed on Wednesday, June 21.
The first week of the season will include the opening round of the Carabao Cup, as the EFL Cup is to be known.
A busy festive programme sees fixtures on December 23, 26, 30 and January 1.
The Checkatrade Trophy is earmarked to begin in the final week of August but is subject to a review at the end of the current campaign. Next season is due to end on the weekend of May 5.