Joe Gallen revealed why Gareth Evans wasn't involved in Pompey’s Leasing.com Trophy victory over Norwich under-21s.
The assistant boss explained the fans’ favourite picked up a dead leg in training which ruled him out of the clash.
Evans was due to face the Canaries’ youngsters at Fratton Park.
That’s despite coming off in the previous 1-0 victory in the competition against Crawley after suffering concussion following a clash of heads.
However, the former Fleetwood Town and Bradford City forward – who was stripped of the vice-captaincy earlier this month – collected a knock on Thursday at the Blues’ Roko base preparing for the encounter.
He underwent a late fitness test on Saturday morning but failed it.
Yet Gallen is optimistic Evans will be back for the League One visit of Burton Albion on Tuesday.
He said: ‘Gareth Evans picked up a dead leg.
‘He had a fitness test in the morning. He would have been playing on Saturday but he got injured on Thursday.
‘He failed a fitness test but it’s not too serious. He will be close for Tuesday night.’
The former’s denied a reunion against the side he joined the Blues from this summer for almost £1m after sustaining a thigh strain in the 1-1 Blackpool last month.
Meanwhile, Brown's Achilles problem continues to keep him on the treatment table.
The duo could be back for the south-coast derby against Southampton on Tuesday, September 24.