MIDFIELDER Simon Ferry is in contention to return to Pompey’s squad for tonight’s crucial clash with Accrington.
The 26-year-old has missed the Blues’ past six matches with an on-going back issue.
However, he yesterday returned to full training ahead of the Fratton Park visit of James Beattie’s side tonight (7.45pm).
It’s a timely return to action for the Scot, who has endured a frustrating first Pompey season through recurring injury.
In his absence, Toumani Diagouraga has been signed on loan, while Romain Padovani, Nicky Shorey and Thery Racon have been given spells in the centre of midfield.
Barker, though, has spoken highly of Ferry, who was previously skipper before his latest injury setback.
And the former Swindon man could provide Pompey with a boost for tonight’s Accrington fixture.
He said: ‘Simon trained with us yesterday and Ryan (Taylor) and Joe (Devera) were on the training ground working with the physio.
‘They are all a lot closer.
‘Whether he is available for tonight depends on how he reacts to yesterday’s training, but he’s probably not that far away.
‘He’s one I have had to do pretty much without since I’ve been here.’
Taylor and Devera have outside chances of making the game, while Johnny Ertl is available once more following an ankle knock.
Barker added: ‘Johnny passed a fitness test on Friday but we were already on our way to Scunthorpe by then. He was back in training yesterday and is in contention as well.
‘Danny East is not ready and we are waiting for the latest on Andy Barcham’s wife giving birth.’