Portsmouth handed huge fitness boost ahead of crunch 11 games to reach League One play-offs

Callum Johnson has handed Pompey a big fitness boost heading into the final 11 games of the season.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 11:01 am

The right-back is back training with the Blues after being sidelined for the past month with a calf injury.

Training footage uploaded by the club's Twitter account shows Johnson involved in a session during a big week for Danny and Nicky Cowley at Pompey's Hilsea base.

Johnson's last outing arrived in a 1-0 win at Oxford United on February 23.

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However, he suffered a calf problem days later, meaning he has been absent for the past seven matches - including the Papa John's Trophy final defeat to Salford City at Wembley.

But should the 24-year-old be fit enough to be involved in Saturday's League One trip to Shrewsbury Town, it will represent a massive fillip for Pompey.

Johnson has made an impressive impact since arriving from Accrington Stanley for a fee of £150,000 during the summer transfer window.

Callum Johnson. Picture: Joe Pepler

He's made the right-back role his own and scored one goal in 36 appearances in all competitions.

Pompey will also be hoping that John Marquis is also available for the New Meadow encounter.

The Blues 15-goal top scorer suffered an ankle injury in the Papa John's Trophy final and has missed the past two games.

The Cowleys had just Jordy Hiwula available as a senior striking option for their first game in charge on Saturday – a 2-1 victory over Ipswich Town.

Ellis Harrison is sidelined for the remainder of the campaign with a knee problem, so getting Marquis back would be another vast lift given how highly he’s rated by the Cowleys.

However, the Blues will be without Ronan Curtis against the Shrews. He is currently away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

With no midweek match on Tuesday, this week will be invaluable for the Cowleys to impart their philosophy on the players after succeeding Kenny Jackett in the Fratton Park hot seat.

The Blues are chasing a League One play-off position but dropped to eighth in the table following Blackpool’s 3-1 win over Peterborough.

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