Taylor eying end of Pompey comeback trail

Ryan Taylor makes his return from injury at York recently. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Taylor makes his return from injury at York recently. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin, left, and Oli Hawkins, right, are two options to replace the injured Brett Pitman against Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey fans debate who should replace injured Pitman against Plymouth

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Ryan Taylor has had enough of staging comebacks, now he’s banking on having finally resolved his injury woes.

The 26-year-old’s campaign has been hampered by a persistent groin problem which initially occurred during pre-season.

The infuriating complaint has robbed the Blues of his presence for six of their 16 matches so far.

Injuries also kept Taylor out on occasions last year following his January arrival under Richie Barker.

To date, the former Rotherham striker has been absent for 10 of Pompey’s 38 games during his time at the club. He has scored eight goals in that time.

Yet after recovering from his latest blow, he is confident the club’s medical team have got him back on the straight and narrow.

And Taylor believes under their expertise he can keep his unavailability to Andy Awford down to a minimum.

He said: ‘It’s a problem I have had three times now and we have got to look after it.

‘I have been doing extras after training as we have to be very mindful, it’s a case of managing it and being aware of what I can and can’t do.

‘The physios have had to hold me back sometimes, if your body is saying you can’t you have got to manage it carefully and it is something I am getting to grips with at the minute.

‘I don’t know whether this will be the case for the rest of my career or this season until we can strengthen it up.

‘But at the minute it feels brilliant, the strength work has gone really well and hopefully I can put that behind me now and crack on with it.

‘Some of us have prehab programmes, specifically tailored for each person. I have mine, it is specific to my groin and I do that every morning and after training, it feels good.

‘I have not set myself a games target but if I can just be as fit as I can, do everything right and then hopefully stay on the pitch and have a good season.’

Injuries haven’t always dominated Taylor’s game.

In 2010-11 he made 37 appearances – 34 of them starts – amassing 12 goals and earning a move to Bristol City.

But he made just 42 outings in two-and-a-half years at the Ashton Gate club, largely due to injury problems.

He added: ‘I have had injury worries in the past four seasons, broken bones and stuff, so it has not been ideal.

‘When I was coming through at Rotherham and first broke into the team I played quite a few games.

‘Then I was back out of favour and then back in, you know what it is like as a young lad.

‘Then I broke my foot on the first day of pre-season training in 2010-11.

‘We were doing small-sided games in the afternoon and with the last kick of the game I have gone to shoulder barge one of the lads, planted my right foot and went over on my ankle, it popped my fifth metatarsal.

‘I got back at the end of September and played the rest of the season, scoring 12 goals and started 33 matches – the most I have done in my career.

‘At the end of the season I got my move to Bristol in the Championship and had a tough one with injuries there.’