Andy Cannon has pledged to prove his Pompey worth after emerging from the worst injury of his career.
The midfielder is back in action and determined to register an impact following three months away from first-team action.
Frustratingly, Cannon has featured just twice since his January arrival from Rochdale for an undisclosed fee.
He has been sidelined after tearing his quad while shooting in training, a problem which represents the longest injury spell of his career.
The 23-year-old yesterday continued his comeback with 90 minutes for Pompey’s reserves in their 3-0 win over Bournemouth under-21s.
Now Cannon is relishing the opportunity to finally display his talents.
He said: ‘I played two games and then picked up an injury, which has been really frustrating.
‘I tore my quad and it took a lot longer to recover than we thought it would. Now it's all right, everything is fine, for two weeks now I’ve been training and playing, so it’s all good.
‘I've never had muscle injuries like that before and hopefully will never have them again – and it has come at the worst time possible.
‘But it has happened, tough times happen, you have to get through them and keep on working hard. You have to be prepared to come back and do whatever you can.
‘People around see me I’m all happy and smiley, but deep down I am gutted. Those close to me know how annoyed and frustrated I’ve been, the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time.
‘In my career it’s the longest I have ever been out. The worst injury I’ve had so far – and touch wood there are not many more like that.
‘In football I’ve had a few niggles here and there. I’m a player who gets into tackles, there are niggles and dead legs you can play on with, but nothing ever like what happened here.
‘That’s over now and I have to crack on and keep working hard, doing everything I can for the team.
‘I’m looking forward to hopefully getting into the first-team. I want to do anything I can to keep the team winning and pushing on.’
Tuesday’s reserve victory also marked the return of Viv Solomon-Otabor from injury, while Bryn Morris collected more match minutes.
And Cannon is feeling no ill-effects from his injury.
He added: ‘It happened in training, I took a shot and felt a stabbing pain in my leg and knew something wasn’t right. I had a scan which shown a torn quad.
‘I’m now two weeks into training and am still doing weights to strengthen the quad, I’m doing everything for it, so hopefully nothing like that will happen again.
‘Reserve games like Tuesday are good to get your legs going, being able to complete 90 minutes and getting on the ball. We’ll see what happens next.’