CURTIS MAIN is set to remain sidelined throughout Pompey’s festive fixture schedule.
The striker has missed the last nine games with an abdominal problem which continues to trouble him.
Not since a 2-1 defeat to Notts County in October has Main been available for selection.
During his ongoing absence, Conor Chaplin and then Michael Smith have been handed runs in Paul Cook’s side as lone strikers.
Cook has indicated he will change his team and adapt tactics during the forthcoming busy period of four games in 11 days.
But it appears he will once more be without his summer recruit from Doncaster Rovers.
Main started the season promisingly, with five goals in his opening 11 matches, including a double in a 3-0 success over Crawley in September.
A head wound against Wycombe forced the 24-year-old to wear a bandage for a month, yet he remained part of Cook’s squad.
An abdominal complaint has now ruled him out for two months – and he is still to resume full training with his Pompey team-mates.
The injury represents bad timing for Main, particularly with the imminent arrival of Jamal Lowe to bolster Cook’s forward options.
The former Hampton & Richmond player will increase the striking pool to five, with Noel Hunt also among the candidates.
However, Cook has so far largely preferred starting one up front, thereby reducing opportunities for forward players.
Main was signed from Doncaster for a nominal fee in July following 11 goals in 58 games.
He has also spent three seasons with Middlesbrough.
– NEIL ALLEN