Simon Ferry is targeting an injury-free season after undergoing more treatment to solve his back agony.
The 26-year-old yesterday received an injection in his L5 disc – located in the lower end of the spine.
It’s the first time doctors have focused on treating the specific area they believe is responsible for the midfielder’s persistent injury problems.
Ferry must now spend six weeks resting, although has the go-ahead to participate in pilates and use an exercise bike.
Crucially, if a success, he will be able to take part in Pompey’s return to pre-season on June 26.
And the ex-Swindon man is hoping the procedure can resolve the long-running back problem which dogged his maiden Fratton Park campaign.
Ferry said: ‘When I received injections before they were in general areas of my back to try to get me onto the pitch playing as quickly as possible.
‘It was never specific – but this has gone straight into the L5 disc.
‘You don’t want a back operation, so many things can go wrong and even leave you paralysed, so the specialist has recognised this treatment.
‘Fingers crossed it will work, although obviously you can never know for certain.
‘For the first week after the injection I won’t be able to do anything, then after that I can do one-on-one pilates as well as look to get on an exercise bike.
‘I actually did pilates every day in the five days building up to the injection and that has seemed to make things better.
‘So perhaps something as simple as that is the way forwards as well.
‘All being well I can take part in pre-season training and spend the summer building up a decent level of fitness with Portsmouth, as I arrived after pre-season last year.
‘My back has been fine recently and seems to have settled down quite a lot, so hopefully I get back to 100 per cent this summer.’
Ferry missed 18 of the last 20 Pompey matches through the back injury and a related hamstring problem.
Following an injection, he returned for Andy Awford’s second match in charge – a 1-0 victory over Hartlepool.
But he was again forced off before half-time in the following match – the 4-1 demolition of Dagenham & Redbridge – and was absent from the remaining four fixtures.
Now he will recuperate in Scotland with his family, although it is set to be anything but a quiet summer for the likeable Scot.
He added: ‘I’ve returned to Glasgow as my Mrs is having our second child.
‘It is due on June 1, although I am not going to be very useful – she’s going to have three kids to look after!
‘I cannot even go on holiday with my back and all I need to do.
‘So we are going to give going away a miss this year.’