ADAM BARTON is pencilled in to make a first Pompey appearance in tonight’s trip to Burnham.
The midfielder has been troubled by a groin injury during pre-season, missing six friendlies.
However, he is set to be among a clutch of first-team squad members turning out in a Pompey XI at The Gore tonight (7.30pm).
Although, Barton could be used from the bench against the non-leaguers as the Blues seek to ease him back into action.
Regardless, it will be an important first step back for the ex-Coventry player, who has watched Michael Doyle and Nigel Atangana occupy the two holding midfield spots in the past two matches.
Also making his comeback at Burnham is Adam McGurk, as Paul Cook seeks to field a mixture of experience and Academy youngsters.
The forward’s last appearance was in the friendly victory at Gosport, with injury sidelining him since.
McGurk has yet to start a pre-season fixture, picking up two appearances, and will be hoping to finally get a run out after a frustrating start to his Pompey career.
Tonight’s Burnham match has been arranged as part of the July 2013 deal which took Ryan Bird to Fratton Park.
Despite the striker having since moved on to Cambridge United and then Yeovil, the fixture has been honoured with the club who operate in the Evo-Stik League Southern division one south & west.
Among other familiar faces from Cook’s squad set to be given a game are those who were substitutes in Saturday’s goalless draw at Gillingham.
That puts Adam Webster, Ben Close, Ben Tollitt, Danny Hollands and Jayden Stockley in the frame.
For Tollitt, in particular, it would be more precious minutes having gone on a pre-arranged holiday after signing a one-year Pompey deal.
Keeping goal will be Alex Bass, following his appearance off the bench at the Priestfield Stadium.
He gets the nod ahead of triallist Brian Murphy, who returned to Pompey training yesterday following a stomach illness.
However, Kal Naismith remains out with a thigh injury and is battling to be ready for the start of the season against Dagenham & Redbridge.
Enda Stevens is still unavailable having returned to Ireland following a family bereavement.
Meanwhile, Jack Whatmough is still missing through his knee problem.