It’ll come as no surprise to anyone to hear that defender George Tanner has got his head down and put everything into his rehab programme following the nasty injury he picked up in the closing stages of the home game against Stevenage midway through December.
The 21-year-old Blackpool-born right back was visibly shaken as he tumbled to the floor in time added on for that fixture, and bad news followed when it was revealed that an operation was needed to repair the damage to his shoulder.
Having worked hard to become a favourite with the fans since joining in the summer, he bagged his first senior goal against his former club Morecambe, having made 29 appearances for the Shrimps when on-loan from Manchester United last season.
Manager Chris Beech said: “George is making unbelievable progress, he really is.
“He went to see a specialist and he is a bit disappointed because the doctor is telling him that he has to complete his full rehab, when George is just desperate to get going again.
“He’s obviously lost a bit of power in his arm because it looks like he’s got a little snooker table fastened to his collar bone in his x-ray. That’s good, because eventually it’ll be stronger than it was.
“What he has to do now is get full range of movement, strengthen the muscle groups around it and make sure that it can take impacts. We all know he’s a player who puts his body on the line, so his shoulder has to be able to take that style of approach.
“We expect to see him right on time for his rehab process.”
With United having played just 21 games, and with their next three fixtures postponed, it means that Tanner is likely to miss out on fewer matches than first anticipated, albeit with a fixture pile up to contend with for the team.
“I think it’s almost inevitable that you lose some fixtures anyway,” the manager said. “The weather hits lower league football every year because we don’t have the facility to cover pitches with expensive covers, or to heat them from underneath.
“With some of the big teams they’ve ended up using their youth teams to cover FA Cup games, so that the senior players can rest and get ready for the league programme, and that’s pretty ridiculous when it’s the biggest competition of its type in the world.
“If we get into the need to have a run of games coming thick and fast it’s just something else we need to face in my opinion. It’s like everything else, it is what it is, so let's get on with it.”