Plymouth dealt huge injury blow ahead of Portsmouth game as keeper Mike Cooper is ruled put for rest of season - will give automatic-promotion-chasers Ipswich, Derby and Bolton renewed hope

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Highly-rated keeper Mike Cooper will definitely miss Plymouth’s home game with Pompey on Saturday.

The Pilgrims stopper will sit out the sell-out fixture after being ruled out for the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

Widely recognised as being the best goalkeeper in League One, Cooper picked up the problem during Plymouth’s 1-0 defeat at new league leaders Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.

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He was withdrawn just before half-time and replaced by the relatively inexperienced Callum Burton, who is currently the only fit senior keeper on the Pilgrims’ books.

Cooper’s absence will come as a huge blow for boss Steven Schumacher, whose side now sits second in the table following their Hillsborough defeat.

The 23-year-old’s injury lay-off will see him miss his first league games since the start of the 2020-21 campaign – a run that has seen him make 121 third-tier appearances.

He’s kept 11 clean sheets this season and was on course to repeat his 2021-22 League One Team of the Year nomination – an award he picked up last term at the expense of Gavin Bazunu.

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Prior to his rare outing against Sheffield Wednesday, stand-in keeper Barton had featured just nine times for the Home Park outfit following his free transfer move from Cambridge in 2021.

Nine of those have come in the Papa John’s Trophy, with the other being a 4-1 loss to Swansea in the League Cup.