Infectious Portsmouth winger Ronan Curtis will be difficult to replace
If Pompey could have avoided injury to one player at this stage of the season, Ronan Curtis would have been right near the top of the list.
Matt Clarke would be the only one who’d definitely be higher, while some could argue the likes of Craig MacGillivray and Jamal Lowe would join him
At best, he’ll be on the treatment table for a fortnight.
It's not a muscle injury or a broken bone that footballers are normally ruled out of action with.
Storm Gareth claimed a casualty when part of Curtis’ finger was chopped off by his front door.
‘God works in mysterious ways,’ is how the winger described it.
Indeed, as it means the Divine might not want him to be involved during a crucial period of the campaign.
It’s every player’s dream to step out on the pitch at Wembley.
It’s an opportunity to grace a playing surface stepped in history, in front of what’s on course to be a sold-out crowd.
But Curtis’ chances of featuring in the Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland look slim, with the clash two-and-a-half weeks away.
Not only that, but he could miss up to six League One games, too.
With Pompey pushing for automatic promotion, losing such a key player is a massive blow.
Curtis has had a superb maiden season at Fratton Park, scoring 12 goals and creating 15 since his move from Derry City.
After a barnstorming first half of the campaign, the south London-born ace suffered a dip in form at the start of the year.
Some fans felt he needed a break after having only a two-and-a-half week holiday last summer.
That was something assistant manager Joe Gallen scotched – and Curtis’ recent exploits underlined he’s as ready as anyone in the dressing room.
He’s netted twice in his past three appearances and also recorded a pair of assists in the 5-1 romp over Bradford.
It was only injury that was ever going to stop the Republic of Ireland international.
And given his passion for the game, he’ll be straining at the leash to don the star & crescent as soon as possible.
Curtis wouldn’t miss a kick about down the park with his mates unless he wasn’t physically able to play.
Already, he’s been into Kenny Jackett’s office pleading that there has to be some sort of medical protection for his finger so he’s not sidelined.
One thing is for certain – Pompey will miss Curtis, whether it be for two weeks or six.
Even when he doesn’t impact games, Jackett is still always confident the Irishman can conjure up a goalscoring opportunity from nothing.
The Blues have a suitable replacement in Viv Solomon-Otabor, who is held in high regard and has impressed so far during his loan spell from Birmingham.
But Curtis’ infectious personality and playing style is difficult to replicate and replace.