Kenny Jackett heaped praise on Tareiq Holmes-Dennis as the defender prepares to make his Fratton Park return.
The left-back, who joined Pompey on loan during the summer of 2017, is in the Bristol Rovers squad for tonight’s League One clash at PO4 (7.45pm).
It will be his first time back playing at Fratton Park following a season-ending injury on his Blues debut.
Holmes-Dennis suffered a problem with his knee 39 minutes into the 2017-18 season-opener against Rochdale and never played for the Blues again following surgery.
It handed Jackett a major blow, after the 23-year-old quickly impressed the Fratton Faithful in four pre-season games following his loan move from Premier League Huddersfield.
On the expiry of his Terriers contract at the end of last season, the former Charlton player made made the switch to Rovers.
There’s he’s now getting regular playing time under his belt – and is now an established figure in the Gas rearguard.
He’ll return to Pompey tonight in a bid to frustrate their promotion ambitions, with the third-placed Blues without a league win since New Year’s Day.
Despite that, Jackett said he was delighted to see Holmes-Dennis back playing again.
The Pompey manager said: ‘It will be great to see him back and he’s a smashing lad as well.
‘I’m really pleased he’s over his injury problems now and playing on a regular basis.
‘I did speak to him in the reverse fixture at Bristol and he was just training then and trying to force his way back into the team.
‘It’s good to see. He’s had a good run of games and I’m sure he will go from strength to strength.
‘He did well for us (in pre-season) and is a very good player.
‘He was unlucky to be hit with such a serious injury and I’m delighted to see him back.
‘I have a lot of praise for his character and enthusiasm to overcome quite a serious injury.
We were always optimistic and kept setting him targets, but the body heals in its own time.
‘His did and he needed the summer and part of this season.
‘But I’m glad he’s back playing. He’s someone I have a lot of time for and respect for the work ethic he has.'
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