Pompey closing in on clean bill of health

Matt Clarke limped off against the Hawks in pre-season. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke limped off against the Hawks in pre-season. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman celebrates his winner against Blackpool. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett: Why Pitman is no longer Pompey’s number 10

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Pompey’s treatment room is clearing for the first time under Kenny Jackett.

And the Pompey boss has been handed a fitness boost ahead of Rotherham.

Matt Clarke has trained all week and is ready for a return to the Blues squad as Jackett’s men face the Millers in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The 20-year-old has not made a competitive appearance for Jackett after picking up an injury in pre-season.

Clarke hobbled off early on in the second warm-up game against Hawks in July with a groin problem.

That issue is behind him and he is now set to come back into the fray tomorrow.

Nathan Thompson could also be in line for his maiden first-team appearance against Paul Warne’s men at Fratton Park.

The 26-year-old was on the bench at Wigan last weekend, as he aims to put his niggling foot problem behind him.

The versatile defender has trained all week and could come into Jackett’s thinking with Gareth Evans suspended.

Thompson is the most realistic option to fill the void at right-back, with Evans missing for a game after his Latics dismissal.

Jackett could yet opt to play with three central defenders, however.

The Pompey boss has indicated he would consider a move to wing-backs when his options allowed it.

Drew Talbot is now the only first-team squad member left in the treatment room.

Talbot limped off with a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw against Walsall – after being brought in from the cold by Jackett.

The outlook doesn’t appear to be too concerning with the 31-year-old expected to be out for another week.