Pompey sweat on star’s fitness

Liam Lawrence
Liam Lawrence
Milan Lalkovic

Pompey team news: Lalkovic starts

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Pompey are sweating on the fitness of Liam Lawrence ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Crystal Palace.

The Blues’ star man will today undergo a scan on his calf after limping off in Saturday’s win over Barnsley.

The injury is a recurrence of the problem picked up against Derby a fortnight ago.

That kept the 29-year-old out of international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

Pompey are hoping the problem has not worsened in the success over the Tykes.

A period on the sidelines for Lawrence would be a huge blow for Steve Cotterill.

Lawrence has quickly established himself as a key man for Pompey since his arrival from Stoke.

And he has been handed the captain’s armband in the absence of Aaron Mokoena.

Pompey first-team coach Ian Woan explained Lawrence was quickly withdrawn on Saturday before the problem worsened.

He said: ‘Liam will have a scan today. We let it settle down yesterday.

‘He’s going to be a big loss if it is anything worse than what it was two weeks ago.

‘We aren’t going to know the full extent until he gets the scan.

‘It’s a recurrence of his calf problem. It’s tightened up on him again.

‘It was more precautionary than anything.

‘We have a lot of games coming up so we whipped him off as soon as he said it was a bit painful.’

Woan also reserved praise for debut-making David Cotterill following his emergency loan arrival from Swansea.

He believes the winger can help Dave Kitson and David Nugent to thrive.

Woan said: ‘David did well for us. He put four or five good crosses in for Kits and Nuge.

‘Our forwards have been crying out for that.’