Defender's Pompey injury boost
Jack Whatmough is set for a whirlwind return to fitness.
The defender has handed Pompey an injury boost with the news he could be back in training in a fortnight.
The Blues were left fearing the worst for their home-grown defender when he suffered a knee injury at Crewe last month.
It was feared the Gosport talent had suffered a recurrence of the anterior cruciate problem which kept him sidelined for 10 months last year.
But other ligaments in Whatmough’s knee were affected by the incident.
It was still feared the 19-year-old would be looking at around three months on the sidelines, after leaving Gresty Road in a knee brace.
He’s responded speedily to treatment, however, and Cook revealed the outlook for him is now much more upbeat than first anticipated.
The Pompey boss spoke of his delight for Whatmough and the mental strength he’s shown through his challenges.
Cook said: ‘It looks like Jack is only a few weeks away, which is great.
‘It looks like he’s doing really well.
‘He is progressing really well, which is pleasing.
‘We were all fearing the worst for Jack after what happened.
‘To have one injury of that nature is bad enough but to have had two would have been horrendous.
‘Jack’s very strong. He’s a tough kid and mentally strong.
‘He can handle blows that none of us would want him to have.
‘He can manage that and having him back soon will be great for everyone.
‘He’s a man, physically. He’s a boy in a man’s body.
‘But he’s a great kid who really wants to do well in the game. So that will pleasing to see him back.
‘In a couple of weeks he will be back knocking on the door again.
‘In a couple of weeks he could be back in training – that’s what they (medical staff) are saying.’
Whatmough’s injury stalled his re-emergence this season from the knee injury picked up against Cheltenham last year.
A strong pre-season saw him named in Cook’s starting line-up for the opening-day clash with Carlisle.
That was followed by an impressive showing at Crewe before being hit with his latest injury.
A scan showed that related to medial collateral and lateral collateral ligaments, rather than the anterior cruciate ligament originally impacted, however.
With Matt Clarke coming through his return against Yeovil Town after five months out, Cook is now set to have his central defensive options bolstered.
He said: ‘Clarke came through the game great.
‘Jack’s only a couple of weeks off. So in a heartbeat we’re going to have four centre-halves again.’