Pompey boss’ Naismith hopes

Kal Naismith celebrates scoring the winner against Plymouth Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith celebrates scoring the winner against Plymouth Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defend before their clash with Wycombe in 2013 is abandoned. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey are hopeful Kal Naismith is nearing his first-team return.

However, the forward remains sidelined for Saturday’s visit of Bury with his knee problem.

Ben Close is available against the strugglers following a thigh injury, while fellow casualties Dion Donohue and Oli Hawkins could also be in contention.

But Naismith continues to be absent and is yet to return to training.

The Scot badly bruised his left knee following a challenge by Plymouth keeper Remi Matthews last month.

Naismith had earlier grabbed what proved to be the match-winner and his maiden league goal of the campaign.

However, he has subsequently missed Pompey’s past two matches.

He is also out of the visit of Chris Lucketti’s side to Fratton Park.

Yet Jackett believes Naismith may be back in training next week.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘In terms of coming back from injury, Ben is doing the best and has been in training.

‘Hopefully Dion and Oli will also be available against Bury. I think both have a chance.

‘However, Naismith is doubtful.

‘It’s bruising. It was a really bad bang to his knee, the last bits of the fluid are going now, he’s just getting some movement into it.

‘It was a brave challenge but he’s okay. It’s just bruising and we certainly hope when it settles down he can go outside.

‘He hasn’t been outside yet, but that should be in the next few days if it’s clear and he has no problems.’

Milan Lalkovic and Jack Whatmough remain sidelined, although the injury list does appear to be clearing at present.