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Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 17:10 UK

Blackpool striker Billy Clarke could miss whole season

Billy Clarke
Clarke joined Blackpool on a free transfer in July 2009

Blackpool striker Billy Clarke could be forced to sit out the whole of the club's first Premier League campaign with a serious knee problem.

The 22-year-old sustained the injury in a pre-season win over Tiverton Town.

And despite initial hopes he may return inside three months, Clarke has been ruled out until April after surgery on the ruptured cruciate ligament.

"It might be the whole season. We're all gutted for him, absolutely gutted for him," said boss Ian Holloway.

"He was looking so sharp in training and had done so much in the summer to try and get over the knocks he had last year."

606: DEBATE

The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international was limited to just 12 starts last season because of injury and scored twice in all competitions.

In a further blow for the Seasiders, forward Louis Almond has been ruled out for up to three months with a dislocated shoulder.

Blackpool are short of strikers following the summer departure of Ben Burgess to Notts County and the return of loanees DJ Campbell and Stephen Dobbie to their parent clubs.



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