Lawrence seeking successful return

Liam Lawrence is targeting a swift return to action.  Picture: Sarah Standing (114474-8847)
Liam Lawrence is targeting a swift return to action. Picture: Sarah Standing (114474-8847)
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Dion Donohue and Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Liam Lawrence is aiming to pick up where he left off as he battles to recover from his latest injury setback.

The Pompey skipper has suffered a recurrence of the calf problem which has dogged him for the past year.

Cruelly, his latest blow has occurred after returning to top form.

A total of 11 consecutive starts – latterly as a central midfielder – have allowed Lawrence to steadily recapture the performances which won him the hearts of Pompey fans upon his arrival.

But injury against Ipswich has once more dragged him into the treatment room.

The 30-year-old is now targeting a comeback against Middlesbrough on March 3, ruling him out of just one more match.

And upon his return he is confident he can continue his impressive run of form before injury struck.

He said: ‘It is a three or four centimetre tear down the calf again.

‘It’s disappointing because I was starting to play well and just getting used to it in the middle of the park.

‘With the situation as well – with us needing as many players as we can – it has all happened at once.

‘I felt as though I was getting back to my best, I just needed a goal or two.

‘I’m sure I will get there again, I always said when I finally get a run of games I will be fine – that will just need to happen again.

‘Against Ipswich I went into a tackle and felt a sharp pain.

‘Straight away I thought “oh no, please don’t be the same calf” – it was.

‘It’s exactly the same leg and it’s the third or fourth time in a year I have done this.

‘I will just have to work extra hard in the gym and get it stronger and stronger.

‘There is light at the end of the tunnel, though, because before that I was getting back to my best and I will get there again.

‘I know sometimes I am awful when I come back after an injury.

‘I find it hard to start playing well again but I am still a decent player.’

The calf problem initially restricted Lawrence to just four starts in the final 15 matches of last season.

It flared up once more during pre-season, while he was ruled out of five matches from November.

Since then he has had a settled run in the team and his performances have improved as a result.

Now he is seeking a return within a fortnight.

He added: ‘If you look back on my injury sheet, you will see I’ve had a couple of ankle problems, one knee problem but never had a real problem with muscles.

‘This last year I just can’t believe it, it has been one pull after another on the calf.

‘Hopefully, I will be back for Middlesbrough.

‘Fingers crossed because that is another big game for us.

‘This time it is only two weeks out.

‘Last time was four weeks, the time before that was longer, so it appears to be improving.’