Former Cardiff and Bristol City midfielder Marlon Pack's Portsmouth absence explained as he sits out pre-season openers

Marlon Pack’s noticeable absence from Pompey’s opening two games of pre-season has been explained.

Danny Cowley revealed a throat infection prevented the Blues’ only summer signing to date from featuring in the weekend double-header against the Hawks and Gosport Borough.

And with the squad flying out on Monday morning to their warm-weather training camp in Murcia, Spain, the decision was taken for the midfielder to sit out both games as a precaution.

The travelling Fratton faithful were keen to get their first glimpse of the 31-year-old over Saturday and Sunday following his return to the club.

Pack is back at PO4 after 11 years away – rejoining the Blues on a free transfer last month following his Cardiff exit at the end of last season.

However, the chance to witness his homecoming appearance was put on hold, with the former academy player absent from both the Westleigh Park and Privett Park team sheets.

As a result, those who attended the games had to make do with seeing six triallists bid to earn themselves deals at Fratton Park.

Included in that were former Liverpool and Derby defender Andre Wisdom and Bournemouth striker Christian Saydee.

Marlon Pack represents Pompey's only signing to date this summer

And while both gave Cowley – who played 25 players over both friendly fixtures – plenty to think about, it was Pack who most fans wanted to see.

Explaining his absence, which didn’t even include a seat in the stands to see his new team-mates in action, the manager said: ‘He (Pack) has just got a throat infection.

‘He trained all the way through to Friday.

‘He came in Saturday morning wanting to play but, for us, we didn’t want to risk him because maybe we can’t take him to Spain.

‘But, yeah, we were just airing on the side of caution, really.’

Pompey fans who are travelling to Murcia will hopefully get to see Pack back in blue when they take on Qatar SC on Saturday (4pm UK time), with the midfielder in the party that travelled to the team’s temporary base at the Pinatar Arena.

If not, the Blues’ next pre-season friendly in front of spectators is against Gillingham (away) on Saturday, July 16 (3pm).

A behind-closed doors friendly against Bristol City (2pm) has been pencilled in for Tuesday, July 12, at the Robins High Performance Centre.