Dory Yates is on the mend.
That is the positive news coming out of the Pompey Academy camp as the luckless defender continues his recovery from a second serious injury in his fledgling career.
The central defender dislocated his ankle and suffered a tiny hairline fracture of the leg in October’s 1-0 Youth Alliance League south west division defeat to Yeovil Town.
That came as another huge blow to the second-year scholar, who had previously battled back from a broken leg, sustained in February 2013.
Indeed, Yates’ impressive recovery from that initial problem saw him named among the substitutes when Paul Cook’s side visited Exeter City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in September.
And the signs are the 17-year-old is again winning his second battle to return to the field of play.
Blues youth-team coach Mikey Harris said: ‘Dory had a scan last week.
‘The consultant was really happy with his progress.
‘He said that the ankle seems to be healing really well.
‘Dory has actually just started doing some running which is obviously a big step for him.
‘Hopefully he comes through that period, which is probably the trickiest period, with no reaction.
‘Going from having done nothing, to going out and running is a big deal.
‘Hopefully it won’t be too long before he is back in training and then back out on the pitch.
‘That would be great for everyone and a big boost for everybody involved.’
Meanwhile, Pompey have qualified to play in the Merit League, following the end of their Youth Alliance League season.
The Blues faced a nervous wait to learn their fate, though, with Harris’ side needing basement-boys Yeovil to do them a favour by avoiding defeat to Swindon on Thursday afternoon.
The Glovers obliged with their best performance of the campaign – a 3-1 win – to ensure Pompey will now compete against the best sides in the south of England up until the summer.