Midfielder doubt for Cotterill return

Liam Lawrence

Liam Lawrence

Carl Baker celebrates scoring. Photo by Joe Pepler/Digital South.

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Pompey are sweating on the fitness of Liam Lawrence ahead of Steve Cotterill’s return.

Although Greg Halford is likely to be available following his shoulder injury.

Lawrence injured his right ankle in the goalless draw with Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.

That complaint forced him to limp out of the action in the 83rd minute, substituted for Erik Huseklepp.

Pompey’s medical team assessed the injury yesterday.

Yet he remains a doubt for the visit of Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The fixture also marks the return of Cotterill to Fratton Park after walking out on October 14.

However, the news is brighter on Halford.

The versatile performer missed that Palace clash with the shoulder problem sustained at Derby.

Yet Whittingham is hopeful he will be back in the reckoning on Saturday.

Halford has returned to training this week and is pushing to reclaim his spot.

He said: ‘It is Liam’s ankle at the moment, but it is being assessed.

‘It’s too early to say what the problem is.

‘As for Greg, he is okay.

‘He trained on Monday and it was a good training session.

‘Greg’s shoulder just got a bit more sore than we would have liked.

‘So we decided not to risk him against Palace.

‘There’s a chance he could feature on Saturday against Forest, though.’

Halford had been an ever-present this season until the Palace fixture.

Meanwhile, up to now Lawrence has featured in 14 of Pompey’s 16 games so far.

Cotterill, who has now been in charge of Forest for four matches, brought both players to Fratton Park during his 16-month spell.

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