Christian Burgess has been pencilled in for a playing return in the FA Cup tie at Ipswich.
The Pompey centre-back has been one of the most consistent performers this term but picked up an ankle problem in the 4-0 win over Hartlepool three weeks ago.
Christian is looking better and betterPaul Cook
The 24-year-old, however, has now started running again and boss Paul Cook believes the trip to Portman Road next weekend is a viable target.
‘Christian is looking better and better,’ said Cook.
‘He has done some jogging so you never know, we might get him back soon.
‘The Ipswich game offers a good little break for Christian.
‘That’s the game where we would look to have him back.
‘But if he doesn’t make it, it’s good that he will get an extra week.
‘That is the sort of week where we have earmarked Christian to come back.
‘He will be back for the middle of January.
‘Touch wood, he seems to be coming on quite well.’
The news is also positive for striker Matt Tubbs, who has now recovered from his ankle problem.
He might even be a possibility to return to the squad for today’s home clash with Crawley.
Cook said: Matty Tubbs is training flat out with the first team so he could be an outside candidate to come back into the frame against Crawley.
‘He looked good in training and now we’re just waiting to see that there are no reactions.’
Goalkeeper Paul Jones, however, is still at least a fortnight away from a return to full training after his knee injury.
‘I think Paul is a couple of weeks away,’ added Cook.
‘The problem for Paul is that he will have been out for a long time – three or four months – so he will need games.’