Blackwell hampered by drugs test
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Blackwell injured an ankle during the derby draw with Crystal Palace, but was drug-tested afterwards, meaning he did not receive immediate treatment.
Coppell says that the time taken for the test was crucial and a major factor in the former Wimbledon man missing the crucial win at Madejski Stadium.
"He was drug-tested after the Palace game," said Coppell.
"There was a period of about an hour-and-a-half when we could not get any treatment to him, because he was enclosed in the doping control room.
"It is important to treat injuries straight away and the fact we couldn't get treatment to him has cost us a little bit.
"He went jogging on Friday but wasn't even close to playing against Reading. Hopefully he will be available for Preston on Saturday."
The 2-1 win over Alan Pardew's Royals was vital for The Seagulls' battle against the drop, and means that they are now outside the bottom three.
Brighton, meanwhile, have handed professional contracts to youngsters Dan Harding, Adam Hinshelwood, Dan Beck and Nicky Bridle.
Harding and Hinshelwood have both been handed two-year deals, Bridle a 12-month contract and Beck has been given three months at the start of next season to prove himself.