Blackpool could be boosted by the early return of Kyle Vassell, whose recovery from a broken foot is well ahead of schedule.
The 24-year-old striker, who is the club’s joint-top scorer with 12 goals this season, picked up the injury towards the end of the 2-2 draw at Barnet on February 28.
It was initially feared he would miss most of Pool’s remaining League Two fixtures but manager Gary Bowyer says Vassell could be involved in Saturday’s home clash with Hartlepool.
Bowyer, who only last week refused to put a time frame on the frontman’s return, told The Gazette that Vassell has returned to training this week.
The Pool boss said: “I think we’re going to be boosted by the return of Kyle Vassell because he’s trained for two days.
“If he comes through the rest of the week OK, then we might just see him back involved.”
Vassell’s absence hasn’t been as keenly felt as first feared, with Mark Cullen stepping into the striker’s berth to net four goals in his last five games.
But Vassell’s return will bolster Pool’s options as they prepare for eight crunch games in their quest for promotion.
Bowyer added: “You want as many players as possible fit for this run-in.
“He’s done everything by the book and he’s followed (physio) Phil Horner’s advice.
“He’s been very professional with how he’s gone about it and he’s trained for the last three days.
“We won’t be silly with him, but if he comes through Thursday and Friday there’s a possibility he could be involved this weekend.”
Pool are also likely to be boosted by the return of Brad Potts and Andy Taylor, who missed last weekend’s 3-1 win at Newport County, although Armand Gnanduillet is likely to miss out with a groin injury.
Bowyer explained: “The players have come through Saturday very well.
“Brad Potts trained on Tuesday, which was good news, and he came through that.
“So as long as there’s no reaction he will certainly train with the team on Thursday and Friday to be ready for Saturday.
“Andy Taylor is getting better day by day and we think he should be in contention as well.”