Appleton to make late call on Pompey midfielder

Kelvin Etuhu has been granted time away from Pompey because of a family bereavement
Kelvin Etuhu has been granted time away from Pompey because of a family bereavement
Plymouth Argyle's Remi Matthews. Picture: PA Images

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Pompey are to assess Kelvin Etuhu before finalising the side to take on Derby tomorrow.

The winger returned to training yesterday, having been given time away from the club following a family bereavement.

As a result, he was absent from the side which defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 in the week.

With Chris Maguire ineligible tomorrow, the likelihood is that Etuhu and Ashley Harris will be competing for the same spot in Michael Appleton’s starting XI.

However, the Blues boss needs to gauge Etuhu’s state of mind.

Appleton said: ‘Kelvin had a family bereavement and was back in yesterday morning.

‘He has not had a good time of it over the past week or so.

‘There have been a few family issues so I gave him a little bit of space for a few days.

‘He’s back in training now so we’ll have a look at what he’s like mentally over the next day or two.

‘But Benjani is still injured. He hasn’t been well the past couple of days so yesterday we sent him home with a load of antibiotics.

‘Tal (Ben Haim) was out there yesterday doing a little bit and could be available for Forest.’