No injury respite for Appleton

David Norris is leading the race for fitness but this week's clashes could come too soon. Picture: Sarah Standing (114165-1206)
David Norris is leading the race for fitness but this week's clashes could come too soon. Picture: Sarah Standing (114165-1206)
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey hit transfer impasse

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Michael Appleton’s injury waiting game goes on as Pompey prepare for two games in five days.

Aaron Mokoena, Luke Varney and David Norris will all miss tomorrow night’s Birmingham City clash.

And there is the very real possibility the injured trio could also be absent from the visit to Blackpool on Saturday, too.

Mokoena has still to return to training following the hamstring injury he picked up against West Ham.

Midfielder Norris – who is suspended for tomorrow’s game – is currently also recovering from a double hernia operation.

In addition, Varney has been given time off as he looks to recover from the medial knee ligament strain he picked up in December.

All of Appleton’s other injury concerns were in the frame to feature in the postponed Hull match on Saturday.

Yet the remaining trio continue to be doubts amid a busy fixture list for the smallest squad in the Football League.

The Blues boss said: ‘Against Hull the squad would have been exactly the same as last week against Peterborough, albeit without Ryan Williams.

‘On top of that, we still have Luke Varney, David Norris and Aaron Mokoena to come back.

‘Aaron is still feeling his hamstring at the minute and that is a little bit frustrating.

‘Luke had most of last week off resting on the advice of the specialist, so we are hoping to see him out on the training ground this week.

‘Even if it is with the physios just doing a little bit of ball work, getting him out on the training field again would be good.

‘Those three are out for tomorrow – possibly all of them are also out for Blackpool.

‘I’d imagine the one who will be closest would be David Norris.

‘But we will assess that throughout the week.’

Despite the Hull match called off due to a frozen pitch, there were parts of Fratton Park the players could use on Saturday.

As a result, they staged an impromptu training session in front of the north stand.

Those taking part included several players doubtful leading up to the fixture.

And they will once again be available for the St Andrews trip tomorrow.

Appleton added: ‘Ricardo (Rocha) and Kits (Dave Kitson) trained on Saturday after being ill.

‘Joel Ward had an injection in his toe and trained, as did Jason Pearce with his (buttock) injury.

‘Pretty much everyone who had been missing for most of the week did train.

‘It’s a shame there was no match, they would have gone into the game with a really good feeling about it regardless of the on-going situation.

‘They were all confident after a good win at Peterborough and wanted to take that into the game.’