Pompey hero hoping for positive injury news

Kal Naismith suffers his knee injury in a collision with Remi Matthews. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith suffers his knee injury in a collision with Remi Matthews. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's second-year scholars back in 2016 when they signed up. Picture: Colin Farmery

Crunch time approaching for fledgling Pompey talents

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Goal-hero Kal Naismith brushed off injury fears and admitted he was ‘hopeful’ of a rapid recovery.

The Scot was forced off in the 83rd minute of Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle after damaging his left knee.

I have never ever hurt my knee before so kind of panicked after the game to get it checked – and got positive feedback

Kal Naismith

The problem was sustained in a collision with Pilgrims goalkeeper Remi Matthews minutes earlier – after Naismith had directed a shot against the far post.

The 25-year-old had earlier netted with what proved to be the match-winner following a mistake from the visitors’ stopper.

It represented his first league goal of the campaign – in only a fifth League One start under Kenny Jackett.

Now Naismith is keeping his fingers crossed for a positive medical prognosis to enable his long-awaited first-team presence to continue.

He said: ‘After the game I pretty much couldn’t bend down to put my shoes on.

‘I had a tough enough time trying to get my socks on so thought I would leave them off.

‘Niall, a top knee specialist, had a look at it and Bobby (Bacic), a top physio, had a look and they are pretty positive. So hopefully I will be okay.

‘I just poked the ball over their keeper with my right foot and we both collided.

‘I don’t know what he smashed into my knee with.

‘I’ve got a few stud marks on it but he has tried to do his best to get the ball and it was one of those things.

‘There was no malice at all and I just hope he is okay as well.

‘I have never ever hurt my knee before so kind of panicked after the game to get it checked – and got positive feedback.

‘I’m just a little bit worried. I’m into the last year of my contract and don’t want to be out with a knee injury in that situation.

‘I think it will be okay, though, fingers crossed.

‘The manager has played strong sides in the Checkatrade Trophy and if I am called upon for that next weekend then I will give my all.

‘But if my knee is not up to it then I’ll get behind the lads.’

With Brett Pitman again missing through his hamstring problem, Naismith was pushed into the lone striker role, with Curtis Main dropping to the bench.

The attacking midfielder responded with the game’s only goal – which arrived on 24 minutes after Matthews was caught in possession outside his box.

He added: ‘You see them on TV and think “why can’t that ever happen to me when the goalkeeper kicks it against the striker and it ends up in the net?”.

‘I never get one of them – but I have now!

‘There was a bit of miscommunication, the goalkeeper miskicked it and I managed to be there to poke it into the net.

‘There was no skill involved but we’ll take them.

‘I was falling back and just poked it, it was not the contact I wanted to get but it went in.’