Jackett scotches Pompey midfielder’s return date

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Stuart O’Keefe’s March comeback date has been scotched – by his manager.

The Pompey midfielder is desperate for a return to action having been sidelined by a groin problem since December.

Pompey midfielder Stuart O'Keefe

Pompey midfielder Stuart O'Keefe

A determined O’Keefe last week revealed to The News an end-of-the-month target.

However, Kenny Jackett believes the Cardiff loanee is a little too enthusiastic in his desire to play again for the Blues.

And he insists an April date is the more realistic outcome for the combative performer.

Jackett said: ‘Stuart is like that, he’s keen!

It has been tough for Stuart, he’s had a couple of injuries which have held him back

Kenny Jackett

‘For our supporters, our target and estimation is April – although he is looking at better than that, which is good, so he should.

‘He has a good attitude and is desperate to get back, which is exactly what you want in all our injured players.

‘It has been tough for Stuart, he’s had a couple of injuries which have held him back.

‘There was an arm injury, which didn’t help his mobility, and then this one, which has been quite a big one.

‘They have been injuries which have really stopped his Portsmouth career.

‘Looking at our win at Charlton in December, we had a midfield four of Evans, Rose, O’Keefe and Lowe. I don’t think we have quite recovered from injuries in that area.

‘You wouldn’t want the season to drift away for Brett as a captain, Gareth as vice-captain, Stuart or Danny Rose.

‘We want all of these lads back – and I’m sure they all feel the same. They want to make strides to play for Portsmouth and help between now and the end of the season.’

Meanwhile, Pitman and Evans have been ruled out of Saturday’s visit of Gillingham.