Pompey’s iron man has repaired

Michael Doyle   Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey’s iron man is rejuvenated, refreshed and, more importantly, healed.

Michael Doyle last season defied the doctors by shrugging off a broken shin bone and medial collateral ligament damage to his knee.

He ended the campaign with a toe injury sustained in that heartbreaking defeat at Home Park.

Of course, the Blues skipper remained on the pitch until the bitter end.

As ever, time is a great healer and for Doyle the body has repaired itself sufficiently in the subsequent month as close season has kicked in.

Injuries were never going to deny the veteran midfielder the opportunity to lead Pompey into action.

Now he insists he is clear of the scratches, lumps, bruises and broken shin to again launch another Paul Cook promotion bid.

Doyle said: ‘I rested up all this summer and just let things look after themselves.

‘My leg was pretty strong anyway during the season, a couple of months after the Northampton away game I was back on track anyway.

‘It has just been important during the summer to lay it off a bit and take all the rest I could get.

‘I’m now firing and ready to go.

‘Everything is fine with the injuries, so I’m now looking forward to the season and getting started again.

‘The pre-season is long and hard but you have just got to get through it.

‘The games are tough, the training is tough, everything is focused on the first match and as professionals you have to put in the hard yards.’

Doyle was crowned The News/Sports Mail player of the season by our readers in effectively a two-horse race.

It was Ben Davies who was the runner-up – the two comfortably the oldest members of Cook’s squad.

Doyle made 50 appearances and scored twice following his arrival from Sheffield United and will once again be an integral figure next season.

Pompey find themselves once more in League Two following that last-gasp defeat at Plymouth Argyle.

Cook’s injury-ravaged squad had been limping towards securing extra-time before Peter Hartley intervened.

By that stage, Danny Hollands had departed with damaged ligaments in his left ankle and Gareth Evans had sustained medial collateral damage in his left knee and torn medial ligaments in his left ankle.

In addition, Davies suffered concussion, while Enda Stevens had passed a late fitness test and substitute Conor Chaplin was carrying a knock.

Doyle also collected an injury during the opening stages of that Home Park fixture.

However, it was not going to force him out of the action, especially with a Wembley play-off final at stake.

He added: ‘I hurt my toe in the first minute of the game, it was the right foot, nothing which stopped me playing.

‘I was in a bit of pain, no excuses with it, though, it didn’t cause any problem.’