Ben Davies admitted his heart is set on an emotional Pompey reunion.
But Grimsby’s right-back is embroiled in a race against time to declare himself fit for Saturday’s date.
The veteran made 51 appearances for the Blues last term, in the process winning five player-of-the-season trophies from supporter groups.
With a new deal unable to be reached, Davies instead joined the Mariners on a free transfer in the summer.
Yet following 13 appearances for the League Two newcomers, a torn calf has sidelined him since October.
Davies this week returned to full training as he pushes towards a tantalising comeback against his former club.
But it remains touch and go for the former Fratton favourite to feature.
‘I had a great year at Pompey, I absolutely loved it,’ said Davies.
‘Obviously, I left with a heavy heart, but sometimes you have to move on.
‘I will be absolutely gutted if I cannot play on Saturday. I still speak to many of the lads and am absolutely desperate to play, it would be lovely.
‘Fingers crossed, but it is going to come a bit early so it’s about whether the manager decides he wants to throw me back in.
‘The calf has been better now for a few days and it’s a case of getting up to speed again.
‘It came at a bad time. I had played every minute of every game, felt strong, was captaining the side and really enjoying it.
‘Since then I have missed nine matches and it has been frustrating.
‘As a team, we’ve had a couple of blips lately and aren’t in the best of form, yet are still one win away from the play-offs. I firmly believe we have a chance this year.
‘I’ve been doing a lot of running and strengthening work and am now ready to go. I’m just short of match fitness and probably a bit of fitness.
‘It might be a little too soon, you never know, but I have made it clear to the manager I am absolutely desperate.
‘Should I miss out, though, it’s probably best this way round. If I had been missing the game at Fratton Park I would be a little bit more disappointed.’
Davies was a popular figure in Pompey’s dressing room during his season on the south coast.
He still keeps in touch with Michael Doyle, Gareth Evans, Gary Roberts and Kyle Bennett, in particular.
Although not wanting to leave Fratton Park, Grimsby have provided his family with the security he craved.
He added: ‘We moved into our new house this week, having lived with the mother-in-law.
‘It is 20 minutes away from the ground and close to the training ground and we’re settled now.
‘The kids have also started school, so everything is coming together now.
‘As for Pompey, I wish them all the best and hope they get promoted.’