Terry McPhillips says the continued absence of club captain Jimmy Ryan is a “big loss” for his Blackpool squad.
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Ryan has yet to play this season, having suffered a knock to his knee in pre-season.
He was thought to be closing in on a return but the 30-year-old suffered a setback, prompting the club to send him to a specialist.
While the extent of the midfielder’s injury is still uncertain, McPhillips remains hopeful his absence won’t be long-term.
“It’s still unclear,” the Pool boss said. “It’s an unusual one, so the prognosis is taking longer and we’re getting different specialists’ opinions. We will see what this week brings on that.
“I know it is terribly frustrating for Jimmy and it’s a big loss for the squad, but fingers crossed we can get it right and he’ll be back with us soon.”
Despite Ryan being a big miss, McPhillips’ side sit ninth in League One, having been beaten only by leaders Portsmouth.
Ryan’s close friend Jay Spearing has taken the captain’s armband and hopes to be reunited with his former Liverpool team-mate soon.
Spearing said: “Obviously I want Jimmy to come back as soon as possible. He’s a great lad, a great player, and he will only help this group to get better, so fingers crossed he comes back quick. But when he is back I’ll still be there. You’ll still hear me screaming and shouting.”
Pool are also having to do without the sidelined Joe Bunney and Chris Taylor, while Callum Guy is also trying to build up his fitness, having made only one U23 appearance for Derby this season before his loan move to Bloomfield Road last month.
Rowan Roache is said to be making good progress after an operation on his foot but is still recovering.
The Seasiders could do with Bunney returning for Saturday’s home game against Luton Town, when Marc Bola is likely to start a suspension after being sent off in last weekend’s 1-0 win at Plymouth Argyle.
McPhillips is confident Bunney and Taylor won’t be out for too much longer. He added: “Joe Bunney is getting closer. He trained on Thursday but didn’t travel with us on Friday.
“Chris Taylor has got a niggle but that’s all it is. I don’t think he’ll be too long.”