Ex-Luton and Manchester United man may require operation as Danny Cowley's shrinking Portsmouth squad suffers yet another blow

Danny Cowley’s shrinking squad has suffered another setback with Ryan Tunnicliffe potentially requiring an operation.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 10:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 10:55 am
Ryan Tunnicliffe may need an operation after severe hamstring tear. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Tunnicliffe may need an operation after severe hamstring tear. Picture: Joe Pepler

The midfielder limped out of Saturday’s victory over Bolton with a hamstring problem which has now been described as ‘nasty’.

Such is the severity of the tear, the Blues are exploring the option of Tunnicliffe undergoing surgery to aid his recovery.

Regardless, it leaves Pompey with just 18 available first-team players.

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And with the visit of Harrow Borough on Saturday in the FA Cup, Cowley is restricted in his ability to rotate his Blues squad.

He told The News: ‘Normally when footballers tear their hamstring it is on the outside of the leg, but this is on the inside. It’s a really nasty tear.

‘It doesn’t usually happen, it’s not a soft tissue injury. It happened through the force of how he planted his foot.

‘Soft tissue injuries normally come at the beginning of exercise, when you maybe aren’t warm enough or are under extreme fatigue.

‘This one has come about in terms of the body position he found his leg in and he’s ended up putting too much force through the muscle and getting a tear.

‘It’s a nasty one. Ryan will go and see a specialist and decide whether it can heal itself or he needs an operation.

‘I’m not sure of the timeframe yet, it’s about whether it heals naturally or needs some help.’

Tunniclffe joins Paul Downing, Clark Robertson, Ellis Harrison, Jayden Reid and Liam Vincent on the sidelines.

The worrying size of Pompey’s squad has also unusually seen first-team members pressed into Hampshire Senior Cup duty this season.

That’s a consequence of the Academy being light after three under-18s were sacked in July following a probe into racist Snapchat posts.

In addition, Haji Mnoga and Jay Mingi are on loan to Bromley and Maidenhead respectively for first-team experience.

Cowley added: ‘That's where we are as a club.

‘Everyone knows we’ve had a small amount of the budget to work with this summer, so couldn’t afford to go with a big squad and haven’t quite got the quality we need.

‘We are Portsmouth Football Club, aren’t we.’

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