Lee Bradbury is hopeful new striker Matt Tubbs can make his first Hawks appearance in their pre-season friendly against Farnborough at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).
The former Pompey front man signed during the summer but has been sidelined by a back problem – an injury that has seen him miss two games.
Tubbs is now on the road to recovery and back in training.
And Bradbury anticipates using him in the Boro friendly.
‘I am hoping that Matt Tubbs will be involved at some stage in the game,’ said the Hawks boss.
‘It will be good to get him back and involved after he trained in midweek.
‘He picked up the problem during close season when he was doing work trying to make sure he would come back at his fittest.
‘As a result, he pulled a muscle and felt a bit of pain.
‘His attitude has been first-rate and he even paid for his own scan and anti-inflammatory injection.
‘He can be a big player for us this season and gives us something a bit different.
‘As a forward he likes to stretch the defensive line and is a fox in the box when chances arrive.
‘Whenever he has played at this level he has scored goals.
‘For the last 18 months he hasn’t settled down, but now with us he will get the chance to do so.
‘He had offers from higher clubs but chose to come to us, which is pleasing.’
One player definitely missing against Farnborough will be captain Brian Stock, who was forced off five minutes into the game against Pompey with suspected broken ribs.
Fortunately, it is now believed they are only severely bruised.
But the injury is still likely to keep the experienced midfielder out for a few weeks.
Andreas Robinson is another absentee, but the Hawks are boosted by the return of defenders Dan Strugnell and Jordan Rose.
Bradbury will give triallist Hayato Yoshida another chance to impress after figuring in the first two pre-season games.
The manager admitted it is difficult to make a judgement against the standard of the first two opponents – Newport IOW and Pompey.
He has to figure out whether the University of Portsmouth student can play at National League South level week in, week out.
‘The lad has shown a fantastic energy and attitude,’ added Bradbury.
The Hawks boss is expecting his team to have far more possession in this game against a side who gained promotion back to the Ryman Premier.
Two old Hawks favourites, Nic Ciardini and Josh Huggins, are in the visitor’s ranks.
‘I am expecting far more of an even game,’ said Bradbury.
‘The Pompey game was a big learning curve for some of the players and their goals showed the gulf between the two leagues.
‘Everything that we do now is geared towards the opening game at Chippenham Town on August 5.
‘We have got a much smaller squad this season and must look to keep everybody fit.’