Danny Cowley gives update on long-term injured duo and the competition they're in to report back for Portsmouth pre-season

The race is on between Michael Jacobs and Ellis Harrison to see who can return the most ‘lean and mean’ for Pompey.

Michael Jacobs is recovering from a knee operation
Michael Jacobs is recovering from a knee operation

And the start of pre-season training has been pencilled in for both to once again return to the first-team fold.

The attack-minded duo have been forced to watch on from the sidelines as their team-mates battle to make this term’s League One play-offs.

Harrison is yet to feature for new head coach Danny Cowley after picking up his season-ending knee injury before his March arrival.

Jacobs, meanwhile, started three of Cowley’s first four games in charge but suffered a medial knee injury in the win at Wigan on Easter Monday.

That required the winger to go under the knife – an operation he is currently recuperating from.

At present, the 29-year-old is getting around with the assistance of crutches.

However, Cowley is hopeful both Jacobs and Harrison will be back in time for the start of pre-season – normally around the end of June.

Ellis Harrison has been sidelined since the beginning of March

And he’s intrigued to see who will be able to hit the ground running at the start of the new season, with both players determined to put their injures behind them.

Cowley said: ‘Yeah, just recovering now, is Michael.

‘He's obviously had the operation on the medial ligament.

‘He’s had it pinned and the operation was successful, which is great. He’s now on the mend.

‘He's got some light at the end of his tunnel and he's working really hard to be in the best possible shape to hopefully be able to start pre-season training as he would like.

‘That's our hope (to have him back for the start of pre-season). Him and Ellis Harrison.

‘It's a lively treatment room at the moment.

‘Bobby (Bacic) is very good at managing those boys. You certainly don't pull the wool over Bobby Bacic's eyes.

‘There's a lot of character in that treatment room - too many, unfortunately, but that is ultimately where it is at at the moment.

‘It's a competition between those two now - who can come back, looking the most lean, looking the most mean and be ready to hit the ground running come the 21-22 season.’

Cowley, who looks set to remain at Pompey manager beyond this season, told The News that pre-season plans for next term are already under way – although a tour abroad is off the cards.