Portsmouth boss: The hour which could decide Ronan Curtis’ fate for Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland

Kenny Jackett believes Ronan Curtis’ Wembley fate could be decided within an hour of his training comeback.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:41 pm
Ronan Curtis is pencilled in for a Pompey training return on Wednesday. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com/PinPep

The Irishman is scheduled to have stitches taken out of the injured finger on his left hand on Tuesday.

Should that prove satisfactory, there is the possibility the winger could return to training on Wednesday.

Still, Curtis faces a race against time to declare himself available for the Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland on March 31.

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A playing return involves a splint and bandage attached to his problematic finger.

And Jackett anticipates swiftly being able to assess Curtis’ Wembley suitability upon his training comeback.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘We are looking at whether the splint on Ronan’s finger is a comfortable one, that the stitches all come out okay and generally there’s no infection.

‘If all those things are there, then it is a possibility he can join in (training) on Wednesday morning.

‘He has been fitted for a splint. They do say it’s a minimum of two weeks and to make sure there’s no infection. The splint will be there for a good fortnight.

‘The good thing is there are a few days to see how he goes in training, so just train, see how comfortable you are and see if you get a knock on it.

‘You’ll know within an hour’s training how it feels – and over a period of a few days he will be able to test it out and see whether it is acceptable to play or not.

‘We can put the sessions on and see how he looks, how comfortable he is with it, how he performs and how near his best he is.

‘We’ll just have to see in the middle of next week. Whether it’s the split, whether it’s the bandage, there are a few days to work these things out and see if it’s something he can handle.’

Curtis’ injury has ruled him out of action for more than a week, sidelining him for training and two League One matches.

With 40 appearances so far this season, he has been an automatic selection for Jackett.

And Pompey’s boss is unconcerned over the winger’s fitness should he return next week.

Jackett added: ‘Ronan’s fitness will be fine.

‘Considering the amount of games he has played, including playing through the summer in Ireland, I have no worries over his fitness.

‘There’s enough time from Wednesday to Sunday to clear the cobwebs and then he would have been out for just two weeks, so that’s no problem. It's just how comfortable that finger is.

‘With team selection, it can be a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning when you have a big call as a manager. We have plenty of time from Wednesday.’