Steve Cotterill today lifted the lid on the reasons for Hermann Hreidarsson being left on the sidelines.
The Pompey boss has revealed the huge fans’ favourite is still feeling the effects of his career-threatening injury.
Cotterill feels he needs to keep the 37-year-old out of the firing line after coming back from the ruptured Achilles tendon which almost finished his playing days.
Hreidarsson has not been involved in any Pompey squad since starting the first two league games of the season.
His omission has been a mystery to the Fratton faithful, but Cotterill has now explained the reasons behind that.
The Blues boss insists Hreidarsson needs special treatment after spending seven months battling back from the injury he suffered at Spurs in March 2010.
Cotterill believes the Iceland international needs to guard against any recurrence of that problem.
He said: ‘We’ve got Hermann who’s not getting any younger.
‘He’s fantastically fit for his age, but he’s not getting any younger.
‘Hermann’s had a bit of a problem with his Achilles. That’s an issue.
‘The one thing we don’t want to happen is for Hermann to have a ruptured Achilles again.
‘If that happens it will affect him for the rest of his life, not just in his football career.
‘He’s getting a bit of a problem. He played on an Achilles problem last time and ended up rupturing it. It nearly finished his career.
‘It was a problem before at his age, so we don’t want anything like that again.
‘He’s okay some days and then it flares up.
‘We have to tailor his training a little bit so he’s not always out football training.
‘Sometimes it may have to be more fitness on a bike and cross trainer, not a running machine.’
Cotterill has made it clear the left-back position is an area he still feels the team needs strengthening in.
Tal Ben Haim has been utilised there for the majority of the campaign, and has performed well.
Cotterill is still looking for another orthodox full-back in that area, however.
He said: ‘I’m not particularly happy with the squad still because we haven’t got competition in some areas.
‘We need a left-back with a left foot.
‘Tal’s done well for us there, but he’s a left-back who is right footed.
‘We’re looking at teams who have spent big money on full-backs because they are not easy to find.’