Jack Whatmough has been ruled out as Anton Walkes’ midfield replacement.
Instead Kenny Jackett will focus elsewhere in the squad to provide the answer to the gap created by the loanee’s injury.
Pompey’s boss is weighing up his options for the role of defensive midfielder in tomorrow’s Plymouth trip.
Whatmough has previously served in a holding-midfield role, albeit long before Jackett’s arrival as boss.
Although, the 21-year-old had been lined-up for the position for Gillingham’s visit last month, only for a late injury to Oli Hawkins to prompt a reshuffle.
Now Walkes is missing – but Jackett is adamant he will not be ripping up his centre-half pairing.
While he played a number of games in front of the back four a few years ago, I wouldn’t say he is naturally cut out for thatKenny Jackett
He said: ‘If I felt it was necessary I could put Jack there but I do see him as a centre-back.
‘While he played a number of games in front of the back four a few years ago, I wouldn’t say he is naturally cut out for that.
‘People like Walkes are a little bit more mobile.
‘For Jack, playing along the backline and seeing anything in front of him really brings out his strength.
‘In terms of the side, we have everyone else available and other midfield players available that will be able to come in and do the job.’
Meanwhile, Jackett is confident Walkes will return for Pompey’s final two matches – plus potential play-off fixtures.
He added: ‘Anton’s out for two to three weeks. He will miss the next three games, then we will assess it after a week on Saturday.
‘He could maybe play the last game – or the play-offs, when we do think he’ll be fit.
‘He is working hard to overcome this injury and we will see if he can play again this season.’
– NEIL ALLEN