Gallen relishing return of Pompey midfielder

Pompey midfielder Stuart O'Keefe
Pompey midfielder Stuart O'Keefe
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Joe Gallen is relishing the return of Stuart O’Keefe from injury.

The Cardiff loanee is four weeks away from resuming training and should be back for Pompey’s end-of-season run in.

The midfielder has been sidelined since limping out of the Blues’ 1-0 win over Bury on December 16 with a groin problem.

The midfielder’s return has been earmarked for the start of April.

And Gallen admits Pompey have missed the former Crystal Palace talent during his time on the sidelines.

The assistant manager believes O’Keefe will bolster Kenny Jackett’s options in the middle of the park – although he has been impressed by youngsters Ben Close and Adam May.

‘I spoke to the physios on Thursday and Stuart’s working towards four weeks,’ said Gallen.

‘I wouldn’t say it’s a long-term injury but it’ll be longer than two weeks.

‘The physio has always said the start of April.

‘That would be great because there’s a number of games in the month.

‘There’s six or seven left and there are a few over Easter so we’re looking for him to come back.

‘That’s not to suggest Adam May and Ben Close are anything other than a good pair and can play in the next few weeks and we can win some games.

‘But we are looking for options and Stuart gives us that.

‘We’ve missed him and Danny Rose in central midfield.

‘But Ben Close has had a good season.

‘He’s has had a right go and played nearly every game since October.

‘Adam has come into it, too, and he’s a talented player who played very well at Fleetwood.’