JACK WHATMOUGH has passed the next milestone of his injury return.
And the defender is now ready for more competitive action.
Whatmough came through a 45-minute in-house game at Pompey’s training ground unscathed along with Brandon Haunstrup.
Haunstrup has not played since the Boxing Day win over AFC Wimbledon and has been recovering from a knee injury.
Blues boss Kenny Jackett has indicated they are now ready to be considered for a return to his squad.
He felt the exercise proved useful for the pair on a heavy surface at the club’s Roko training base.
The game follows on from Whatmough’s comeback in the reserves against Leicester in the Premier League Cup last week.
Jackett said: ‘It was predominantly for Jack and Brandon really.
‘They’re match-fit now so only competitive games will do.
‘The game didn’t do everyone any harm. It’s 11 v 11 – and 11 v 11 is the best fitness work you’ll ever do.
‘That’s just the way it is. All the sports science guys will say that’s the case.
‘All the other things which are done are a supplement when you’re in the gym and things like old-fashioned running.
‘It’s a supplement to playing football.
‘So 11 v 11 is the best work you can do, particularly on a heavy pitch which it was with the recent rain.’
With Premier League Cup and Central League Cup obligations now over, there are no more reserve games on the fixture list for Pompey this season.
Jackett feels that is something which will need to be looked at once his side emerge from the run of five games in 15 days they’re currently in the midst of.
He added: ‘We will need to organise some now moving forward. I do definitely think that.
‘I do hope we need to anyway, because it’ll mean we have the players available who need the games.
‘We have not got any other (reserve) fixtures now.
‘Obviously, when there’s first-team midweek fixtures it’s quite tough to do.
‘You’re better off doing it in-house when that’s the case.
‘We can do that on a Wednesday or Thursday no problem.
‘But we will need to start doing that, though.
‘It’ll be good if we do because it’ll mean we have the majority of our players needing to tick over.’
- JORDAN CROSS