Pompey handed injury boost

Pompey captain Brett Pitman Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey captain Brett Pitman Picture: Joe Pepler
Craig MacGillivray pulls off a stunning stop for Shrewsbury at Fratton Park last season. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Brett Pitman has offered Pompey timely hope.

Now the wait continues to learn the extent of Kal Naismith and Oli Hawkins’ injury absences.

Brett said he felt okay last Friday morning, but that was a typical Brett thing to say, it wasn’t realistic

Kenny Jackett

Kenny Jackett must discover the full damage inflicted upon the pair during Saturday’s victory over Plymouth.

Hawkins has undergone a scan on his hamstring problem, with the outcome set to emerge today.

Meanwhile, Naismith’s left knee remains badly swollen and damage cannot be accurately assessed until such inflammation has reduced.

On a positive note, it is anticipated Pitman will be back in action at the end of this week, resuming full training on Monday or Tuesday.

As a consequence, the trio are ruled out of this weekend’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Northampton.

Yet the December 9 trip to Charlton remains a realistic return date.

Jackett said: ‘With the Checkatrade Trophy, potentially there is a little bit of breathing space for the likes of Brett, who is getting fit this week.

‘He said he felt okay last Friday morning, but that was a typical Brett thing to say, it wasn’t realistic.

‘He had a grade-one hamstring six days before and normally it is between two-to-three weeks.

‘Brett will be back training by the end of this week and then we hope by Monday or Tuesday he will be in full training for that weekend.

‘He is not one to miss or want to miss games. He pushed quickly after the knee injury and the mask, he’s one of those who can still put it in even if not 100 per cent.

‘With Kal, there’s still a lot of swelling there. It’s very big and will take a few days to go down.

‘There is no point doing a scan, you wouldn’t see anything clear at all.

‘Hopefully, in a few days it can settle down and there is no damage inside.

‘As for Oli, he’s had a scan so we are awaiting the outcome. His was more connected with his back and we hope it’s not too bad.

‘I have been very pleased with him and hopefully the hamstring isn’t too serious and he’s back pretty quickly.’

Dion Donohue is expected to return to training on Thursday following a problem with his lower back.

Although, Milan Lalkovic has been ruled out this side of Christmas following an Achilles operation.

Jackett added: ‘I thought Naismith and Conor Chaplin combined well in the front positions and looked a goal threat.

‘We needed Oli again at the back on Saturday with Burgess being out, it was only a one-game suspension so will be available this weekend.

‘Certainly, if Oli continues to show variability between those two positions he will be a major asset for us.

‘We did well to come through a tough period without him at the game’s end against Plymouth.

‘Nathan Thompson’s organisation and talking maybe made up for a lack of height.’