Crocked Pompey skipper given morale boost

Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey player Gareth Evans

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Brett Pitman is facing missing the remainder of October after undergoing a knee operation.

But the Pompey skipper’s September return of six goals in seven games has earned him a nomination as League One player of the month.

Pitman yesterday went under the surgeon’s knife to remove a piece of floating tissue in his knee.

The problem has dogged the 29-year-old for the past month, yet he has continued to put in his goal-scoring performances.

However, it has been decided to now operate, ruling him out for an estimated two-to-four weeks, depending on how swiftly the knee settles.

It follows an operation Pitman had on the broken nose he sustained against Fleetwood last month.

In the meantime, he has made the Sky Bet four-man shortlist for September’s player of the month.

Also listed are Michael Jacobs (Wigan), Kieffer Moore (Rotherham) and Richard Smallwood (Blackburn). Pitman has produced an explosive start to his Fratton Park career.

A consolation goal in last weekend’s disappointing 2-1 loss to Oldham Athletic took his tally to nine goals in 11 league appearances so far.

Gary Roberts won the September 2016 League Two award, following three goals and two assists.

Previously, Gareth Evans collected the accolade for December 2015 after four goals in a month.

Now Pitman is in the frame, with the League One winner to be announced on Friday morning. However he faces stiff competition.

Wigan winger Jacobs has scored four goals this season for Paul Cook’s side, with two arriving in September.

They include a 30-yard winner against Northampton, with the 25-year-old described by the panel as ‘imagination and unpredictability make him almost impossible to mark’.

The Latics are currently second in League One and beat Walsall 2-0 last weekend.

Moore was part of the Rotherham side which won at Pompey at the start of September.

On-loan from Ipswich Town, the striker went on to net five times and provide two assists in seven appearances for a second-successive nomination.

The panel described him as ‘powerful in the air and bullish on the ground, he is the focal point of a free-scoring Rotherham attack’.

Completing the quartet of players is Smallwood, Blackburn’s defensive midfielder.

The former Middlesbrough apprentice arrived at Ewood Park in the summer and has quickly become a key man.

Smallwood produced a volleyed goal in a 3-0 victory at Rochdale and during the month also registered an assist.

Meanwhile, Rovers boss Tony Mowbray has been nominated as September manager of the month.

Also shortlisted for the award are Paul Hurst (Shrewsbury), Stuart McCall (Bradford) and Paul Warne (Rotherham).