Portsmouth absentee nearing injury return

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Dion Donohue is next week pencilled in for his latest comeback.

The midfielder has been sidelined for Pompey’s past six matches after damaging his hamstring in October.

Dion Donohue started Pompey's 1-0 victory over Fleetwood last month. Picture: Joe Pepler

Dion Donohue started Pompey's 1-0 victory over Fleetwood last month. Picture: Joe Pepler

It was unfortunate timing for the Welshman, who was beginning to establish himself in Kenny Jackett’s first-team following four successive starts.

During what has proven to be an injury-hampered season, he collected his latest setback in the 2-2 draw against Burton at Fratton Park.

Donohue is now expected to return to training towards the end of next week as he launches another bid for first-team football.

Jackett said: ‘Maybe Dion is a week away from training, hopefully he is okay in that period.

‘I always thought it would be the start of December for him – and it still looks that way.

‘He’s had three muscle injuries this year, which is not good, so you have to be careful. After that he has to get his body ready and make sure it’s okay, in addition to perhaps getting a bit of luck.

‘I don’t particularly believe in luck, though. You work hard enough, you get your rewards and Dion has to keep his head down and make sure that when the chances come he takes them.

‘There is plenty of the season left, he has shown in glimpses when he’s played he has good ability. He had a good year last year and even the four appearances this season, his ability is there for everybody to see.

‘His quality is there for everybody to see, I don’t think anybody can doubt he has the ability to do it.

‘Getting a run and breaking into the team is going to be his challenge when he gets back.’

Donohue’s misfortune began during pre-season in Cork, when he was sidelined by a blistered foot, followed by contracting glandular fever.

He had been set to start at Blackpool in August, only to collect an injury during shooting practise the previous day.

However, the former Chesterfield man announced his comeback with the winner against Crawley in the Checkatrade Trophy – his first goal for the club.

There totalled four consecutive starts, until tearing his hamstring in the 28th minute against Burton.

Jackett added: ‘As the manager and as staff, you always look at yourself and try to give the player the best structure that you can.

‘But after that, you suddenly have a run of games where you need durable players, that’s the way it is, certainly in the lower divisions.’