Neil Critchley provides fitness update ahead of Blackpool's pivotal clash against promotion rivals Sunderland

Blackpool have no fresh injury concerns heading into tomorrow's pivotal clash against promotion rivals Sunderland.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 1:33 pm
Updated Friday, 16th April 2021, 1:34 pm

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Kevin Stewart (ankle), Matty Virtue (ACL), Keshi Anderson (hamstring), CJ Hamilton (metatarsal) and Gary Madine (groin) all remain sidelined through injury, while Bez Lubala is unavailable due to a 'club matter'.

Loanee Elliot Embleton is also ineligible to play against his parent club.

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“He will be a miss, but we’re used to missing important and big players this season," head coach Neil Critchley said.

"We knew he was never going to play in the Sunderland games, we’d already been preparing and thinking ahead in terms of the solution we’ll have to find for these games.

“CJ and Matty Virtue will definitely be out for the remainder of the season, there’s no chance of either of them reappearing.

“The others, I’m more hopeful about. Kevin Stewart is back on the grass and running, Keshi Anderson is back on the grass and running and Gary Madine is doing more work this week in the gym.

Kevin Stewart is making good progress in his recovery from an ankle injury

“Although we don’t have a lot of time remaining, we’ve still got plenty of important games so I’m hopeful those three will appear at some point.

“I’d say the closest one of those three is Kevin. He’s probably slightly ahead of schedule.

“I said to our physio he’s a player who will be letting you know when he’s fit, he’ll be telling you what he can do, how much he can do and he’ll be asking if he can do this and that, when can I do it etc. That’s the type of person he is.

“He’s missed a lot of football this season, so he’s frustrated because he wants to play. He was really enjoying playing and he wants to get back out and play.

“He’ll be pushing himself to get back as soon as he can, but we just have to make sure he’s safe and healthy. Reigning him in is a bit more difficult than pushing him along which we’d rather be like that.”

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