Pompey sweating on injured defensive duo

Jason Pearce. Picture: Barry Zee
Jason Pearce. Picture: Barry Zee
Lomana Lualua

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Pompey are sweating on the fitness of Jason Pearce and Joel Ward for tonight’s visit of Crystal Palace.

The Blues must win the Fratton Park fixture to maintain their slight chance of remaining in the Championship.

However, they have concerns over Ward and Pearce, who both picked up knocks in the win at Doncaster.

Tal Ben Haim (thigh) and Benjani (ankle) are definitely missing tonight.

Kelvin Etuhu is also a doubt following a family bereavement.

And Appleton is hoping his defensive duo come through to boosts his side’s hopes of staying up.

He said: ‘Joel and Jason have got knocks so didn’t train yesterday and are 50/50.

‘They are not major doubts, but we could have done with the game being next weekend, so to speak.

‘I think they are two honest lads who are prepared to do whatever they can to make sure they are fit and available and I will be very surprised if they are not there tonight.

‘They got through the Doncaster game and were iced up heavily afterwards but I think they will be available.’

Etuhu also didn’t train yesterday following his family bereavement.

And Appleton was keeping an open mind whether the winger will be able to feature.

He added: ‘It’s 50/50 with Kelvin.

‘It depends what sort of frame of mind he is in.

‘We will wait to hear from him.’