Defender hands Pompey injury boost
Nathan Thompson has handed Pompey an injury boost after returning to training.
Tareiq Holmes-Dennis is the latest early-season casualty, after joining Milan Lalkovic and Matt Clarke on the sidelines.
However, Thompson yesterday trained with the squad for the first time since collecting a foot injury.
The former Swindon man sustained the problem on the second day of pre-season training, ruling him out of the entire friendly schedule.
Now available again, it remains to be seen when Kenny Jackett opts to throw him into match action.
Yet for Pompey, the defender’s return eases the club’s ongoing injury problems.
The Blues boss said: ‘Thompson trained yesterday morning with the group and it’s just how long we give him.
‘It was his first time back and his injury is fine.
‘Nathan has done a hell of a lot of running work in the last 10 days, so yesterday represented his first football session – and the signs are good for him.
‘His fitness times are pretty good, so we have to gauge where he is physically and about him working with the football.
‘The bigger picture is for me to decide when to put him in, particularly when he hasn’t played pre-season matches.
‘A pre-season hardens your body – which is a good thing – and makes you sustainable against injuries. If the whole squad is fitter and more durable then you will get less injuries, that’s a fact.’
Defender Clarke remains unlikely to return from his groin injury before the end of this month.
Holmes-Dennis is today visiting a specialist to learn the full extent of his knee injury and whether an operation is required.
Meanwhile, Jamal Lowe tomorrow serves the second game of his three-match ban following a red card.
However, there has been brighter news on Lalkovic’s ankle injury, which has kept him out of Pompey’s opening two matches.
And Jackett expects the tricky winger to return to training next week.
He added: ‘We are hoping Milan will be training next week.
‘He is not too far away, but certainly won’t be fit for Oxford.
‘We hope that next week, somewhere along the line, he will be out on the grass and working back towards our group and full fitness.
‘In pre-season he did very well.’