Kenny Jackett believes Joe Hancott has the right character to make a full recovery from his season-ending injury.
Hancott has discovered the injury to his right knee will keep him on the sidelines for between six to nine months.
That means the 18-year-old is ruled out for the remainder of this term and potentially the start of pre-season ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.
News of the extent of the injury will come as a huge blow to the talented defender.
Hancott, who is Pompey’s youngest post-war player, has made two first-team appearances this season.
Both of those came in the Leasing.com Trophy and he would have hoped to play a further part in that competition with the Blues reaching the knockout stages.
The teenager was also sent out on loan to Bognor earlier this season to aid his development.
Hancott made three appearances for the Nyewood Lane outfit.
However, his development has now been put on hold by the ACL damage suffered.
Jackett admitted it’s a ‘terrible’ blow for a youngster he felt was progressing well.
But the Blues boss is backing ‘positive’ Hancott to come back strong from the injury.
Jackett said: ‘Joe is not good.
‘He’s done his cruciate, it looks like a season-ending injury.
‘It’s going to be difficult for him this season.
‘He’s looking at six to nine months out.
‘It’s terrible for the lad. He was developing fine.
‘He was one of our younger players that we were encouraging, pushing and giving opportunities to.
‘Particularly, in the cup competitions and better reserve games, if you like.
‘But he’s young and he’ll have to work hard to recover, which he will.
‘For someone of his age, it’s possible to get over those those injuries.
‘He’s a very positive and good character.
‘He’s a levelled character, which does suit football.’
The Blues boss revealed the ‘innocuous’ way in which the defender picked up the injury.
Hancott was unchallenged and went down with no-one around him in Pompey training.
Jackett did not witness the Isle of Wight ace sustain the injury, with it taking place on a youth team pitch.
Although the Pompey boss feels the heavy surfaces at present could have played a part.
‘I didn’t (see it happen),’ Jackett added.
‘It was over on the youth pitch.
‘There was no-one near him.
‘It was just a soggy part of that particular pitch.
‘As ever, some of those can be the worst injuries.
‘It was quite an innocuous accident where nobody was near him, it’s now resulted in quite a bad injury.
‘It’s never good even if it’s an innocuous situation.
‘He’s obviously felt something on quite a heavy pitch, which has then resulted in cruciate knee ligament damage.
‘It’s going to keep him out between six to nine months.’