SEWN up and patched up, yet wounded Curtis Main continues to find himself among the Pompey goals.
A sickening clash of heads with Wycombe’s Aaron Pierre left the striker requiring 14 stitches above his right eye.
There are still a few stitches internally which need to dissolve and the headband can cushion elbows and knocks by taking the impactCurtis Main
Perhaps more crucial, it knocked the 24-year-old out of Paul Cook’s first-team.
In his absence, Conor Chaplin has flourished, with three goals in five games, including netting as Main’s substitute replacement against the Chairboys.
Presently donning a black headband to protect the healing wound, the ex-Doncaster man returned to the starting line-up for the Checkatrade Trophy visit of Reading Under-23s.
He responded by scoring twice in six second-half minutes to seal a 2-2 draw for the Blues.
And in doing so, Main delivered another reminder of a goal-scoring ability which has now yielded five goals in 11 appearances.
He said: ‘I was starting to feel good, the body was right and I was ready to kick on – then Wycombe happened.
‘I went to flick the header towards goal and slammed my head into the side of his (Pierre), it’s one of those things.
‘The wound was open before I hit the ground, I felt it, the only reason I kept my head down is because I knew it was going to be bleeding straight away so was trying to keep the pressure on.
‘I was just hoping it wasn’t too bad and could maybe carry on, but once the doc had a look that was it for me.
‘It required 14 stitches and quite a little bit of work from the doctor, but he did a great job.
‘Mentally it doesn’t affect me, I don’t think I need to worry about it. I’m going to head the ball, something is either going to happen or it’s not, there is no point worrying about it because it won’t change anything.
‘It is very difficult to get something to protect the wound so I use a headband to do the job, even if it would be very difficult to catch that area again.
‘There are still a few stitches internally which need to dissolve and the headband can cushion elbows and knocks by taking the impact.
‘Now I must take any opportunity which comes my way and get on with it.’
Partnering Michael Smith up front against the Reading youngsters on Tuesday night, Main helped the Blues recover from falling 2-0 behind.
His first was a conversion from Gareth Evans’ cross from the right, while the second represented the goal of the match.
Kyle Bennett slipped the ball through and the striker responded by curling home a glorious first-time right-foot shot into the far corner.
Main was not offered the opportunity for a hat-trick, withdrawn for Kal Naismith in the 69th minute.
As for his distinctive head wear, it is unmistakably reminiscent of former Pompey and Luton defender Steve Foster.
He added: ‘I played with Steven Foster, but I think that’s a different one!
‘The headband is approved, it meets all the regulations, there is no issue there.
‘It feels different heading the ball on your skin, but it’s okay.
‘For me the problem has now gone, the eye is starting to feel back to normal, there isn’t any pain.’