JACK WHATMOUGH has handed Pompey an injury boost.
And Brandon Haunstrup has also progressed along the comeback trail after both turned out for the Blues’ reserves.
The pair lined-up for Tuesday afternoon’s Central League Cup clash with Newport County.
In their first outings since injury, they helped Pompey to a 4-1 victory at their Copnor Road training base.
Haunstrup made way for Adam May on 61 minutes, while Whatmough was replaced by Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain on 67 minutes as they were eased back.
And Ian Foster was delighted with their re-emergence as the pair aim to challenge for Paul Cook’s first-team.
The first-team coach said: ‘At the time Jack did his knee injury at Crewe, everyone was really worried that it was a repeat of his ACL.
‘However, he is strong and intact and we are pleased he came through that with only minimal injury.
‘It is still a bad injury – we thought it might be as long as three months – but he has come back in much quicker time.
‘Jack’s still a bit ring rusty, he has probably only had four sessions with the group, which isn’t a lot with the amount of time he has been out.’
Haunstrup dislocated his shoulder during a substitute appearance against Bournemouth in a July pre-season friendly.
As a result, he has not featured in any Blues match-day squad this season.
Yet it was his cross from the left which was headed home by Conor Chaplin for Pompey reserves’ fifth-minute opener against Newport on Tuesday.
Foster added: ‘Brandon did his shoulder so it has been a long time out for him.
‘It was a bad blow, he was doing really well in pre-season, but has worked really hard, as have Jack and Adam (Buxton). Credit to the physios for getting them onto the pitch.
‘With Brandon, he is physically fit, he can run, he can do anything, but if he falls on his shoulder he has an issue.
‘The orthopaedic surgeon we spoke to was very mindful that he was giving us a percentage time.
‘If Brandon came back early there was a 70 per-cent chance it could pop out again, whereas a bit longer was 50 per cent.
‘We decided to keep delaying it and were guided by the doctor until he was happy for Brandon to get back involved.’