POMPEY will exercise caution with Conor Chaplin as he misses the clash with Gillingham.
The striker is out of Sunday’s televised trip to Priestfield with a hamstring-related injury.
Chaplin felt the problem in the warm-up for Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy win over Crawley.
That’s after the 20-year-old returned to training this week, following two games out with a similar issue.
The Blues are already missing Brett Pitman for the game with a host of defenders sidelined or major doubts.
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett admitted it’s a frustration for both player and club.
He said: ‘Chaplin felt his hamstring during the warm-up on Tuesday. He won’t be available.
‘It is frustrating for Conor. It’s been a niggly injury rather than a real pull or a rupture. It’s enough to keep him out for the weekend.
‘We need to get it 100-per-cent right.
‘It’s a frustration for him and a frustration for us.
‘He’s stuck on 99 games – but I’m convinced he’ll get over the line on that one.’
Head physiotherapist, Bobby Bacic, explained Pompey weren’t prepared to take any risks with the injury.
He said: ‘You’ve got the hamstring at the back and you’ve got a skinny auxiliary muscle. He was feeling fine, confident and then with one kicking motion it was enough to irritate it.
‘If he was a semi-pro footballer it might be one they’d crack on with, but we’re not in the business of ignoring injuries.’
– JORDAN CROSS