Portsmouth boss sets Bryn Morris a target as midfielder finally starts to make encouraging injury progress
Kenny Jackett is targeting having Bryn Morris available for selection before the end of the season.
The Pompey midfielder has made encouraging recent progress as he battles back from his long-term injury.
Morris has missed the entire campaign so far with an ongoing abdomen complaint.
He travelled to Munich in October to undergo surgery to the stomach area, but the procedure failed to solve his issue.
The former Middlesbrough man has since moved on to a different fitness programme, however, and it is beginning to bear fruit.
He's now two-thirds of the way into his new regime, with Jackett optimistic it will finally be the end of Morris' perennial problems.
Now his aim has to be returning to match action before the season’s closure.
Blues boss Jackett said: ‘Bryn is eight weeks into a 12-week strengthening programme.
'The abdomen area is very sensitive. It's a 12-week programme of extensive strengthening with different exercises.
‘It's hard work and he is working hard. Hopefully, his body is durable when he does come back, but the abdomen is a tough area.
‘It’s not an area you can put up with a lot of pain and is unusual for footballers – usually, it’s knees and ankles.
‘This one is somewhat unique and if you have pain, it is hard to do sport.
‘Bryn has got his head down and working with a new specialist on a new programme. He does think he is progressing in terms of being durable to get outside and run and do it on a regular basis.
‘It is improving and coming. I am expecting this to be the end of his problems once he gets to the end of this road.
‘I do think he’s got to target being able to play again this season and I do think he'll be able to do that.
‘First and foremost, he's got to concentrate on getting fit and I’m optimistic he will.’
Morris, who arrived from Shrewsbury in January 2019, has been restricted to just eight games and one goal for Pompey.
It’s been a tough year at Fratton Park for the former England youth captain – but now he can see light at the end of the tunnel.
Jackett added: ‘The workload now is very, very high and that’s quite a good thing. When you’re waiting and hanging around, you’ve probably got too much time to think.
‘His actual programme is hard and that is good because he’s working and through that hard work, you gain confidence.
‘In the early stages when they don't quite know what it is, you can want to work but are not able to. There's then too much thinking time and that can crack you up.
'You always get one person who gets a long-term injury. Unfortunately, it's been Bryn's turn and it's an injury that isn't there visibly.
‘If you’re looking at Jack Whatmough’s knee, you could see it while the abdomen is a very sensitive area.’