Neil Critchley provides fitness update on Luke Garbutt, Grant Ward and Sullay Kaikai ahead of second leg of Blackpool's play-off semi-final against Oxford

Neil Critchley is hopeful Luke Garbutt could still play some part in Blackpool’s play-off semi-final second leg against Oxford United.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 8:00 am

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The left-back was taken off as a precaution during last night’s 3-0 first leg win after suffering a knock to his back.

Garbutt was replaced by Jordan Thorniley, while James Husband moved over to left-back.

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While the full extent of the setback isn’t currently known, Critchley refused to rule him out for Friday night’s decider.

“He felt his back a little bit in the second-half, it just stiffened up on him. He had a bit of a spasm,” Critchley said.

“We had to bring him off, but hopefully it’s not too serious and we’ll see how it settles over the next 24 to 48 hours.

“Hopefully he’ll still be available for Friday.”

Luke Garbutt suffered a back injury during last night's play-off clash at the Kassam

Elsewhere, Ethan Robson returned from a groin injury to start last night’s game on the bench, but Grant Ward and Sullay Kaikai remain sidelined.

Ward suffered a calf injury during the recent 1-0 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, a game in which Kaikai picked up a hamstring strain.

Providing an update on the duo, Critchley told The Gazette: “Sullay trained last week with us and then didn’t feel quite right on the Friday.

“He did some running but we didn’t feel it was right and he didn’t feel he could be ready for this game.

“We’re hoping with a few extra days of rest, then he could make a big contribution, maybe for Friday.

“For Wardy, it’s similar. But I’d say Sullay probably has a better chance for Friday than Wardy.”

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