Injured Pompey duo set comeback date
Joe Gallen believes it is '˜feasible' for a double injury comeback against Gillingham.
Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans have a chance of returning a week on Saturday, according to the Blues’ assistant boss.
Both are sidelined with the hamstring problems collected at Southend, with Evans’ a recurrence of the issue.
In their ongoing absence, Kenny Jackett has been forced to field a youthful side with an average age of 22.5.
Nathan Thompson remains on the sidelines, having served two of his four-match ban for a dismissal at Roots Hall.
Yet assistant boss Gallen is hopeful Pitman and Evans could be in the frame for the March 10 visit of Gillingham to Fratton Park.
He said: ‘It’s always a dodgy one with hamstring injuries.
‘We can sit here and want them back ASAP, but the fact with that sort of injury – and a re-injury as well – is that it’s better to be cautious rather than push them back too early.
‘You don’t want it to happen again, so we need some caution.
‘However, I think it is feasible that both Brett and Gareth can be back for Gillingham.
‘Put it this way, they will be close at that time. It will be a decision – it could be a risk, it might not be a risk.
‘The safest way is to have a week’s worth of training and then plan it out, that is ideal preparation.
‘Jumping in Thursdays and Fridays isn’t ideal, it can happen but there is a risk element. Jumping straight in on a Saturday would be daft, we just have to be careful.
‘With hamstrings it is hard to recreate a match situation in any training session compared to what is actually going to happen in a game.
‘There is an extra half a per cent – or a full per cent – which you just cannot get in training no matter what you do.
‘So over the years there will have been numerous amounts of players who will have trained in an 11v11 before a match.
‘Then they end up limping off after 15 minutes on the Saturday. It’s a dodgy muscle injury.’
Evans was previously sidelined for four matches with the hamstring problem collected on December 30 against Northampton.
He returned for a five-game spell before pulling up while netting a consolation against Southend.
For Pitman, this is his third injury spell in a season which has seen him register 15 goals in all competitions.