Gary Roberts has revealed his second Pompey appearance left him fearing he had torn medial knee ligaments.
The key midfielder played for the full 90 minutes in the Blues’ 2-0 victory at Woking on Friday night.
That night I didn’t sleep through worry. The pain wasn’t that bad because I was on pain killers, but at my age you feel it worse and injuries don’t clear early, especially ligaments, they take a long time to settleGary Roberts
It marked a welcome return to Paul Cook’s side after injuring his left knee at Bognor eight days earlier.
On that occasion Roberts had left Nyewood Lane wearing a leg brace having been forced off at half-time.
Initial concerns were the 31-year-old was facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, fears shared by the ex-Chesterfield man himself.
However, after asking to train with the Academy to prove his fitness on Thursday, Robert returned to the Pompey line-up at Woking.
And having been given the all-clear he’s raring to go in the campaign ahead.
He said: ‘I’ve had a little bit of a hiccup with that injury which set me back a tiny bit, but I’m fine now and can hopefully get another 90 minutes at Gillingham.
‘When it happened I feared the worst to be honest, especially coming off the pitch, it felt really bad.
‘I didn’t want to keep the brace on because it makes it look a lot worse. People will be talking and mentally to have a brace on your leg or be on crutches is not good, I don’t like stuff like that.
‘It was precautionary, but at first the concern was it was the medial knee ligament considering the pain and the way I had done it.
‘In the end I was told I was lucky that didn’t actually happen.
‘That would have been a kick in the teeth and would have killed me to miss the start of the campaign, normally I start a season really well.
‘I watched a video of the incident but it doesn’t show too much. There are two lads and I have tried to kick the ball and we must have banged knees.
‘That night I didn’t sleep through worry. The pain wasn’t that bad because I was on pain killers, but at my age you feel it worse and injuries don’t clear early, especially ligaments, they take a long time to settle.
‘The day after I felt a tiny bit better but still sore and stiff, however it has come on every day since I recovered.
‘I remember the next morning after Bognor looking outside my hotel window and across the sea and the sun was out, so felt a lot better. When you are based up north and injured and see it raining outside it can bring you down!
‘Once I realised it wasn’t ligaments I was happy, it turns out it must have been bone bruising.’
Gareth Evans and Matt Clarke netted the goals at Woking on Friday to make it three successive wins for Cook’s men.
And such was Roberts’ determination to feature in that fixture, he opted to train with the kids the previous day.
He added: ‘It was my decision. I don’t think the physio was too keen on it to be honest!
‘I had done a lot of running the day before working in the gym and just felt I needed to play football and have a training session, but there wasn’t one on Thursday as the lads were off recovering.
‘So I travelled down to Southampton with the young lads, it was good to kick a ball and I came through it fine.’