Steve Cotterill believes it will be another month before Danny Webber takes his final step towards his first-team comeback.
The 29-year-old has yet to return to full training as he fights his way back from a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained at White Hart Lane.
That represents the last hurdle to clear as he closes in on playing for the Blues before the season is out.
Regardless, his progress continues to be encouraging.
Pompey’s medical team are delighted with the recovery of the former Manchester United trainee whose rehab has recently been stepped up.
And Cotterill is expecting to see the striker back training with his team-mates within the next four weeks.
He said: ‘Danny is okay, he’s working really hard.
‘He has been pushed on a little bit again in the last couple of weeks, although won’t be ready to get out with all of us yet.
‘He’s been out for about nine months now and is not quite ready to train with us just yet. We will just have to see how he is.
‘He has been stepped up again by the physios again and that is another period he has got to get through before he can come out with us, to be honest.
‘He’s going through that gradual process and it might take a month before he gets out on the pitches yet.
‘He’s doing well, working really hard. It’s just that last little bit we need to get him through before he gets out with us.
‘I am sure he is getting very anxious and wants to get out there but we have got to make sure he is right because it’s a big injury he’s coming back from.
‘You cannot pick and choose when you do these injuries and you cannot pick and choose how long your rehab is going to be.
‘He’s got to be right because, at the end of the day, his contract is up at the end of the season.
‘It’s unfair on the kid otherwise.’
Webber has been sidelined since damaging his cruciate ligament at Spurs in March last year.
It brought a premature end to a first Fratton Park season which had seen him make 24 appearances and score three goals.
Now he is nearing his return.
And Cotterill is confident the former Watford man can come back the same player.
He added: ‘I said ages ago that I wouldn’t know whether we would see the best of Danny Webber before the end of the season.
‘But people who have had this injury can come back the same. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
‘He’s still only a young man, and if it takes 12 months to get back it takes 12 months to get back.
‘There is not a lot we can do about that, there is not a lot Danny can do about it.
‘He’s just not ready yet.’