Lawrence is Pompey derby boost

Pompey skipper Liam Lawrence is back in training
Pompey skipper Liam Lawrence is back in training
Lee Bowyer.

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Liam Lawrence will be back for the south coast derby.

Pompey’s club captain has been declared fit and has resumed full training ahead of the Southampton clash this Sunday.

The Republic of Ireland international has been sidelined since damaging ankle ligaments six weeks ago.

During that time he has missed five matches and is yet to play under new boss Michael Appleton.

However, Lawrence was back in training on Friday.

He also warmed up with the Blues squad at Burnley before Saturday’s match.

Appleton is now expecting Lawrence to train for the rest of this week.

And, providing there are no setbacks, he anticipates the midfielder being available for Southampton’s visit.

He said: ‘Liam is okay.

‘He trained Friday and did a little bit on the pitch before Saturday’s game.

‘I think it was really important he was with us for the match and that is why I asked him along.

‘He should now be fit and available for training all this week.

‘If that’s the case, then he will be fit and available for selection for the Southampton game.

‘Liam is fantastic.

‘At the end of the day, he is the club captain and it is important we have him around.

‘Similar to Luke (Varney), he is obviously a really important player for us and to have him back is a bonus.’

Pompey are also hopeful Varney will be able to face Southampton.

The Blues’ top scorer injured his knee against the Clarets, following a collision with keeper Lee Grant.

He is currently receiving treatment from the club’s medical staff as they aim to get him back for the south coast derby.