Kenny Jackett has pledged to use ‘common sense’ when assessing whether head-injury victim Nathan Thompson is ready to return.
The Pompey defender was knocked out by team-mate Drew Talbot in an aerial collision during last weekend’s defeat to Oldham.
With Thompson it’s not black and white, we are fortunate the doctor handling it saw the injury, he assessed him afterwards and has been in most days this weekKenny Jackett
In accordance to guidelines, Thompson is not permitted to play a competitive match for seven days afterwards.
With the Blues’ game at Gillingham having been switched to Sunday at the request of Sky, in theory the 26-year-old could return.
Thompson may today make his training comeback as Jackett weighs up whether he is ready to resume first-team duties.
Christian Burgess could also be back in action as he seeks to recover from a calf problem.
Yet Thompson’s situation is far from straight forward.
Jackett said: ‘We will make a decision on Thompson on Saturday.
‘The rules for a head injury are seven days, we are fortunate that the game is eight. However, away from those rules, there must be some common sense.
‘He will maybe train today and we will see how he feels. We will use our common sense, but are open minded to him coming back and being okay.
‘Obviously, if there is any doubt, we won’t take a chance. It’s similar with Burgess really, we are optimistic over them being around for the next two training days.
‘But with Thompson it’s not black and white.
‘We are fortunate the doctor handling it saw the injury, he assessed him afterwards and has been in most days this week.
‘You can make a medical decision on how the player feels and looks. He has done some fitness work but not actually been football training.
‘He feels pretty good, though. We will leave it open and are hopeful.’
Burgess’ calf injury has so far kept him out of two matches.
It has left him stranded on 99 appearances for Pompey since arriving in the summer of 2015 from Peterborough.
Should neither Burgess or Thompson be available against the Gills, striker Oli Hawkins will again deputise.
But Jackett is hopeful the pair can challenge to line up alongside Matt Clarke.
He added: ‘I think it will be close for both of them,
‘If Burgess doesn’t make Sunday then I think he’ll make next Saturday (MK Dons).
‘It depends how he feels. Tomorrow is obviously going to be the crunch time to make the decision. We will give him every chance.’
– NEIL ALLEN