Danny Cowley tightlipped over Portsmouth striker John Marquis as injury questions continue

Danny Cowley admits John Marquis’ absence is ‘short-term’.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 3:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 3:44 pm

Yet Pompey’s head coach continues to avoid divulging the full extent of the striker’s ongoing injury problem.

Certainly Cowley is remaining largely tightlipped over Marquis’ availability after being sidelined for the Blues’ last two matches.

In that absence, replacement George Hirst has shone in victories over Crystal Palace under-21s and Wycombe.

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Pompey entertain AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, seeking to stretch their encouraging six-match unbeaten run.

Yet it’s not clear whether Marquis, who has a tendon issue, is under consideration.

Cowley told The News: ‘We have a number of players not available at the moment that are in that rehabilitation process – that stage between physio room, the gym and back on the grass.

‘We got a couple back on the grass this week and are actually training with the group, so we hope to be in a much stronger position come Saturday.

John Marquis has not played since the FA Cup win over Harrow Borough through a tendon problem. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘I don’t want to disclose who we have fit and who we haven’t, I don’t want to do Wimbledon’s for them.

‘John had a scan on the Monday off the back of the Harrow Borough game and unfortunately it came back a little inconclusive.

‘Sometimes it does that when you get too close to the previous game, they can still have the game in their legs, such as muscle soreness and some fluid and inflammation, which shows up in the scan.

‘Sometimes you just have to let it settle and then scan it later.

‘John’s is a short-term injury, we believe it is tendon related, but it is low level.

‘It is something which has been there for a period of time, but he has been able to train and play with it.

‘It got to a stage where maybe it deteriorated to a point where he thought it was impinging on his performance, so it was a case of stepping back a bit.’

The striker has netted four times in 18 appearances this season and, overall, has struggled for form.

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