Blackpool have been handed some rare good news after it was revealed that the knee injury midfielder Keith Southern sustained at the weekend is not as bad as was first feared.
It was thought that the 26-year-old could be sidelined for several months after he sustained suspected medial ligament damage during Saturday's pre-season friendly defeat at Bristol City.
However, scans have shown that, although the former Everton player will miss the start of the Premier League season, he should return to action within weeks rather than months.
Southern said: "I had a scan and I was fearing the worst, not only my medial ligament but my cruciate ligament as well.
"I had a bit of good news though and it's neither. I've torn a muscle that attaches to the kneecap, so I'm still going to be out a little while, but it's very positive in that I haven't damaged any of the main structures to the knee."
The Seasiders suffered a major blow last month when it was confirmed that striker Billy Clarke will miss most of the season with cruciate ligament damage and Southern has admitted that he thought he was set for a similar lay-off, adding: "That was my first thought because the pain was really bad and really sore.
"I wasn't able to put any weight on it and it swelled up quite heavily, so I feared the worst. The scan was really reassuring though and hopefully I'll see a knee specialist this week and he'll be able to advise me.
"Early indications are that I probably won't need surgery, he'll just put me in a knee brace for a certain number of weeks and I'll be back sooner rather than later. I'm very hopeful that I'll be back in the next couple of months."