Pompey fear Matt Clarke blow
Pompey fear Matt Clarke may require an operation as he continues to struggle with groin problems.
The central defender missed the final five matches of last season with the injury, including the play-off semi-final.
Since then Clarke has joined the Blues on a permanent basis as part of the deal which took Adam Webster to Portman Road.
However, he continues to be troubled by his groin and sat out yesterday’s start of pre-season training.
He joined Gareth Evans, Danny Hollands, Calvin Davies and Paul Jones in the treatment room at their Hilsea training base while their team-mates blew away the close-season cobwebs.
And Paul Cook is concerned Clarke may be forced to undergo the surgeon’s knife to resolve his injury.
He said: ‘Matt’s injury is a difficult one and he’s gone for another scan.
‘He is not happy with his groins, which at his age is probably part of the growing process, so we are getting him scanned again.
‘There will be the option to have an injection to clear it up – if not he may need an operation.
‘It’s the same injury as last season. Ipswich sent him back thinking he would be fit for the play-offs.
‘He is 19 and there are growth spurts in lads of that age. Look at the size of him, he is a young boy growing into a man’s body.
‘Matt is in good hands and hopefully we can get that cleared up.
‘But at the minute he won’t be going to Ireland with us, we will only take lads who are going to play.
‘The injured lads will instead have programmes to carry out back home.’
Alex Bass, however, was among 22 players who took part in yesterday’s training.
The session involved Cook’s squad running along the Fareham Creek Trail from Wicor Rec in humid conditions.
Bass has recently returned from the knee injury which kept him out at the end of last term.
Meanwhile, fellow keeper Jones is expected to be back out on grass today following a thigh problem.
Cook added: ‘Gareth Evans has a bad knock and Jones hasn’t resumed training yet but is nearly there.
‘Danny Hollands is still around the club getting treatment and contract talks are ongoing. They have probably hit a blind point because of the injury more than anything else.
‘Apart from Jones, those lads are weeks away rather than being close.’