DANNY HOLLANDS admits it was a selfless decision which backfired.
Now the midfielder has been condemned to a summer of frustration and a future uncertain.
Trying to help the club get to Wembley made it a hell of a lot worse. As a footballer you want to try to help the team, so it is one of those thingsDanny Hollands
The midfielder should never have played in the play-off second leg against Plymouth, torn ligaments in his left ankle the result of Gary Sawyer’s wincing challenge.
Yet with promotion at stake, Hollands was not ducking out.
He subsequently lasted 44 minutes before hobbling off the Home Park pitch having exacerbated his injury.
Yesterday the cast was removed following surgery to re-attach his ligament and remove pieces of floating bone.
As a result, the 30-year-old faces a battle to be fit for the League Two kick-off.
Hollands has also been forced to pull out of attending a Uefa B Licence coaching course, while his family have gone on holiday to Thailand without him.
Then there is the issue of ongoing contract talks to remain at Fratton Park.
The scars of the play-off elimination truly run deep.
Hollands said: ‘That tackle in the first game caused a little bit of injury to the inside of my ankle, a grade-one tear.
‘Basically me playing in the second one caused a lot more damage and the ligament came off the bone, maybe I shouldn’t have played.
‘Trying to help the club get to Wembley made it a hell of a lot worse. As a footballer you want to try to help the team, so it is one of those things.
‘I thought I would do all I could and for me it has kind of backfired.
‘But it is something I wanted to do, I wanted to help the club get to Wembley. It turned out to be a bad end to the season.
‘Initially it was thought I wouldn’t need an operation. But a floating bone has been removed and the ligament sewn back onto the joint.
‘Yet ahead of that second game I felt it was okay and had the ankle strapped.
‘Then early on I felt it kind of ping and when I went to change direction it felt like a cricket ball had hit me in the ankle. That is when I put up the white flag and come off.
‘Now I’m back on the mend, I had my cast off yesterday and then go into the protective boot for a couple of weeks.
‘These types of things only make you stronger – and I will bounce back.’
Hollands believes at this stage it is difficult to put an accurate timeframe on his comeback.
But he is targeting the start of August – and hopes his employers remain Pompey.
He added: ‘I was meant to be doing my Uefa B badge in Gloucester, so to miss out on that was a bit gut wrenching.
‘I now cannot do it again until next summer, it lasts two weeks so can’t be run during the season.
‘Also, my wife and myself were both 30 this year and wanted something a bit different so we decided to go with the kids to Thailand.
‘Instead they have gone with my father-in-law and his wife.
‘I am currently on my own at home, missing my kids for two weeks and am not in the best of moods.
‘As a footballer you get the injuries, that is the risk you take. Unfortunately it has backfired.’