BEN CLOSE has been taken out of the first-team picture to stop his injury frustration deepening.
The midfielder will not feature at Stevenage tomorrow as he focuses on getting over a hamstring issue.
Close didn't travel to the Irish training camp last week to get over the niggling problem.
The 21-year-old believed he was over the problem and got 45 minutes under his belt against Hawks last weekend.
But he felt the hamstring tighten after the game and Kenny Jackett now will leave him out of his team at Broadhall Way.
Jackett said: 'It's still not right.
'It's a tight hamstring rather than a pull.
'He needs a period of training, so he won't be travelling to Stevenage.
'He's had problems traditionally with hamstrings and quads.
'It's reared its head now, but there's time to get over it and be ready for Luton.
'He's a fit lad naturally, so I don't think it will take too long if he gets himself right.
'He felt it after the game, it didn't recover to any level and he's still feeling it slightly.
'So we have to take it back a stage or two and then build him up.'
Close made 45 appearances last term and has maintained his fitness over the summer, making the hamstring issue slightly baffling to Jackett.
The Pompey manager added: It's a strange one really because he's played a full season and worked through the summer.
'Ben's quite a diligent person, so maybe it's one of those things.’