GARETH EVANS has vowed to return from the ‘awful’ challenge which has ruled him out for three months.
Pompey’s goalscoring midfielder is expected to miss the start of next season following Carl McHugh’s tackle in the play-off defeat to Plymouth.
Carl McHugh’s tackle was awful, I thought it was a really bad challenge. I really don’t think he was going for the ballGareth Evans
It left Evans with medial collateral damage (MCL) in his left knee and torn medial ligaments in his left ankle.
With the League Two campaign kicking off on August 6, it is unlikely he will be available.
Thankfully, Evans has been advised no surgery is required.
And the 10-goal midfielder has his eyes on picking up where he left off when he returns to Pompey action.
He said: ‘I have a knee brace on so cannot straighten or bend my knee and am wearing a moon boot as well. I look like Robocop!
‘I cannot do anything, I am hobbling around on crutches and have spent the last two weeks not able to move off the sofa.
‘That challenge completely wiped out the whole of my left leg.
‘It is a 12-week minimum injury and the way it is looking I’m going to miss the whole of pre-season.
‘I am told the lay-off will take me to the first week of August, which is the first game. I will be surprised if I made that, we’ll just have to see.
‘McHugh’s tackle was awful, I thought it was a really bad challenge.
‘The ball was on the other side of my body, my left side was facing towards him and the ball was on my right side so he knew he had to go through me to get it – and that is exactly what he did.
‘I saw him coming as well, I quickly looked round the corner and moved the ball away with my right foot, then he has come full speed straight into the tackle. It was naughty, really.
‘He scissor-chopped me and his whole body weight went through my knee and it was a nasty one.
‘McHugh got booked for that and I thought it was possibly worse than that.
‘It could have been worse, though.
‘The only saving grace was my boot didn’t stick in the turf.
‘If that was the case it could have torn my ACL and would be nine months out.
‘But I’ll be back, I’ll work hard to make sure of that.’
Evans was a mainstay of Paul Cook’s side, making 47 appearances.
And he is attempting to remain upbeat during the trek back to fitness.
He added: ‘I will miss out on all the fitness and pre-season games so it will be a catch-up.
‘I am quite naturally fit, to be fair.
‘That is a bit of a saving grace, really – also the fact if this injury happened in the middle of the season I would miss probably 12-15 games, maybe more.
‘Potentially I miss one or two games at the start of the season.’