Blues sweat on star’s availability

Liam Lawrence
Liam Lawrence
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Pompey midfielder Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey injury update: O’Keefe four weeks away from return

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Pompey are once again sweating on the fitness of Liam Lawrence following his latest injury setback.

The Republic of Ireland international sat out the weekend draw with Preston with a hamstring problem.

The injury initially flared up at Reading, although the 29-year-old was able return to training on Friday.

Yet he was forced to pull out during the 20-minute warm-up after feeling a niggle, ruling him out of the visit of Preston 24 hours later.

Since then, Lawrence has seen a specialist about the problem.

Tonight Pompey face Coventry at Fratton Park.

And Steve Cotterill will leave a decision over the influential midfielder’s participation until the last minute.

He said: ‘We had two blows at the weekend. We could have done with a fit Liam available to us out on the pitch and we could have done with Ricardo Rocha.

‘Liam has had a hamstring problem, the same side where his calf injury was.

‘What happened is at Reading he has turned and it has gone on the inside.

‘So where he has jarred his knee the physios think he has tweaked his hamstring from the inside.

‘It is more groin to hamstring area.

‘It is not major but it is niggling and niggling enough that Liam had to pull out of a warm-up at training on Friday.

‘He was a lot better over the weekend but it is how much better.

‘He saw a specialist yesterday and we would be leaving any inclusion late on.

‘We have just got to wait and see really.’

Should Lawrence fail to make it tonight, Joel Ward will continue in his absence.