Pompey back Burgess to return for Rochdale

Christian Burgess. Picture: Joe Pepler
Christian Burgess. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Christian Burgess is expected to be fit for the League One kick-off against Rochdale.

The central defender was missing from Saturday’s 2-1 win over Crawley after hurting his calf in training.

However, Kenny Jackett revealed the former Peterborough man would have featured if it had been a league fixture.

In Burgess’ absence, Jack Whatmough was recalled to partner Tom Davies in the centre of Pompey’s defence.

Following an uncomfortable first half against the hosts’ Thomas Verheydt, the pair were part of a much-improved display after the break as Brett Pitman scored twice to hand the visitors a friendly victory.

In the meantime, Burgess has joined fellow defenders Matt Clarke and Nathan Thompson on the sidelines.

But Jackett anticipates him returning for next weekend’s curtain-raiser.

He said: ‘We hope Christian’s okay for next week. If it had been a league game this weekend he would have played.

‘He had a very slight calf injury and we are hoping by tomorrow or Tuesday he trains and has the remainder of the week and is able to play against Rochdale.

‘We have Clarke, Burgess, Whatmough, Davies and Thompson who can play there, so there’s good competition. As always happens, we suddenly have three of those five out!

‘But we will get over that and make sure we are as strong as we possibly can be. They are all capable and experienced in playing in that position in this league.

‘I felt Jack perhaps struggled a little bit at the start on Saturday, but as the game went on I was more and more confident of him.

‘I like Jack, he has a lot going for him and I think he can improve.’