Academy newcomer Destiny Ojo had stepped up to first-team training during pre-season to bolster attacking numbers.
However, the promising youngster suffered a suspected broken ankle during Monday’s session and is now sidelined.
It’s wretched misfortune for Ojo, who only joined the youth set-up this summer from Lancing, following a successful trial.
The highly-regarded attacker featured for Liam Daish’s Academy side from February, netting twice on his debut in a 3-0 win at Stevenage.
His eye-catching impact earned second-year scholarship terms for the 2022-23 campaign, coming under new lead professional development phase coach Zesh Rehman.
With Danny Cowley requiring forwards for training sessions, Ojo was subsequently asked to link-up with the first-team upon their pre-season return at the start of last week.
He joined Academy graduate Dan Gifford as the only genuine strikers involved, amid the long-running search for fresh additions.
Cowley has lost George Hirst and Tyler Walker at the end of their loans, while Aiden O’Brien has been offered terms to stay.
In addition, John Marquis and Ellis Harrison were offloaded in January with six months of their contracts remaining.
It has created a dearth of strikers at Fratton Park, with just Gifford possessing any first-team experience, following his successful loan at Bognor.
The Emsworth youngster will no doubt be handed match action in Saturday’s visit to the Hawks for Pompey’s traditional pre-season opener.
However, it remains to be seen who features in attack for the Pompey XI fixture at Gosport Borough the following day (July 3).
As it stands, Marlon Pack is the only arrival during the current transfer window, although Cowley is well aware of his striking deficiencies.
The head coach has been tracking Spurs youngster Kion Etete, who featured for Northampton and Cheltenham last season.
Ideally, new striking additions will be in place ahead of next week’s seven-day Spanish training camp in San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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