Blackpool blow as Clarke ruled out with knee injury

BLACKPOOL striker Billy Clarke could be out for three months with the knee injury he suffered in last week’s friendly against Tiverton Town.

The 22-year-old Corkman picked up the problem less than two minutes into the Seasiders’ opening pre-season match on Friday and manager Ian Holloway confirmed yesterday he will definitely miss the start of their maiden Premier League season.

He said: “It’s a bit worrying for us and for Bill. He’s going to be out for at least two months, possibly three.

“He’s definitely got a bit of meniscus, which is cartilage, and he’s got an anterior cruciate which is torn and it’s not going to be a quick fix.”

The news is a blow to Holloway, who has so far failed to add to a threadbare squad following Blackpool’s surprise play-off victory over Cardiff in May.

The former QPR and Leicester boss has been looking at trialists Francis Jeffers and Frenchman Malaury Martin but insists he will not be rushed into signings.

It is also a cruel setback for former Ipswich man Clarke, who missed a large chunk of last season with another knee problem.

Holloway said: “I feel for the boy. It’s the last thing we needed. He looked sharp as a tack and ready to go and try and get a place in our team.

“He was hampered last season with a knee injury when he was absolutely on fire. He scored a brilliant goal and then had to come off and didn’t play for six to eight weeks, so it’s an occupational hazard. But at the moment, when you have as few numbers as I’ve got, it makes it a tad difficult.”


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