East ruled out of season’s start

Danny East. Picture: Joe Pepler
Danny East. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Danny East will miss the start of Pompey’s season.

Andy Awford has revealed the versatile performer’s groin problem has not responded to treatment as quickly as hoped.

East has yet to return to training having picked up the injury three weeks ago.

He has subsequently missed four of the Blues’ pre-season matches and is to play no part tomorrow against Charlton.

And Awford has also ruled out the 22-year-old for the League Two opener against Exeter on August 9.

He said: ‘Danny’s groin has not responded as quickly as we wanted it to.

‘I listened to the medical staff, I am not one to rush players back when they are not ready – and he is not ready yet.

‘I think he will miss the start of the season.

‘Danny has not trained since he did it so it is worse than we originally thought.

‘Until he is back on the training pitch he won’t be considered for selection, so we will see how that maps out next week.

‘He is out there with the physios doing his work but it is all straight-line stuff.

‘He is not able to twist and turn yet so is not close to joining in with the group at the moment as far as I know.

‘Until he is, I can’t pick him.’

In East’s continued absence, Adam Webster and Alex Wynter are vying for the right-back slot.

Teenager Ben Close covered the position against Bognor, despite being a central midfielder.

Webster has started the last two friendlies in the role, although with Awford rotating his squad, it still remains up for grabs.

He added: ‘Webster did well against Bournemouth, I thought.

‘He got caught out against Ebbsfleet a couple of times with balls over the top, so we did a bit of work with him and he was better on 
Tuesday.

‘He covered the ground quicker, read things better, anticipated things better, so he looked quite strong.

‘Wynter can also play there if I need him to, as can Joe Devera and Johnny Ertl.’

n A Pompey XI friendly at Burnham on August 5 has been postponed and will be scheduled for another date.