Christian Burgess is eyeing reclaiming his first-team spot after proving his Pompey fitness.
The central defender’s encouraging debut campaign ground to a shuddering stop in December, upon the intervention of Mikael Mandron.
The Hartlepool striker’s late lunge earned him a yellow card – and sidelined Burgess with ankle ligament damage.
The former Peterborough man had been ever-present in Pompey’s 21 League Two matches until that point.
Since returning last month, his appearances have been restricted to the FA Cup.
Instead, Matt Clarke and Adam Webster have been Paul Cook’s preferred central-defensive partnership.
But Burgess insists he is raring to find a way back into the Blues side.
He said: ‘Matt has done really well and so has Adam, as did Adam Barton in there, so there’s competition.
‘Now I’m looking to get back into the side regularly.
‘When I came back from injury I had a good couple of weeks training with the boys, a bit of running, while the ground has since held up well enough at the training ground to get some good sessions in, it has been pretty smooth I think.
‘I think we were in cruise control against Hartlepool when the injury happened, but that’s football. It’s how you deal with it and how you overcome it and now I feel pretty good.
‘It wasn’t the cleanest of challenges. Mandron was probably going for the ball, but that is pretty much behind me now and I’m looking forward to carry on.
‘I suppose it’s my first proper injury. I’ve had one at the end of the season before when at Hartlepool and it carried over into the summer.
‘It’s the first time I’ve had to get back fit to play games during a season and it has been different.
‘It has been a challenge, I’ve had great help from the physios and am feeling pretty good to be fair, no kind of troubles.’
Since his return, Burgess has started against Ipswich and Bournemouth in the FA Cup, impressing in both.
Yet he was forced to watch from the bench at the 1-1 draw at Morecambe, after making way for Webster.
‘I think we have been pretty solid at the back this season, which is pleasing,’ added Burgess.
‘It provides the base to then go and play, giving other players the freedom to express themselves further up the pitch.
First and foremost you have got to be solid.’