Progress 'slow' as Portsmouth await luckless Oli Hawkins' latest comeback
Progress with Oli Hawkins is ‘slow’, according to Kenny Jackett.
And Pompey’s boss certainly doesn't anticipate seeing the versatile performer back in action until approaching mid-November.
The striker-cum-defender has not appeared since injuring his left foot in last month's Carabao Cup defeat to Southampton.
That outing marked successive appearances at centre-half for Hawkins, following a disrupted pre-season.
However, despite shining upon his brief first-team return, the 27-year-old continues to remain on the treatment table.
Ruled out of the past six matches, there is presently no definitive date for his training comeback.
More frustration then for Hawkins, who has so far totalled just three appearances in Pompey’s 18 matches in all competitions.
Jackett said: ‘Oli is still some way back, two or three weeks away.
‘Progress with his foot is very slow.
‘It’s the same injury as he suffered earlier in the season, but a different foot. How that works, I don’t know, but it is slow and I wouldn't think the next few Saturdays are realistic.
‘Oli’s had a frustrating season so far, a couple of good games at centre-back, then came off at Southampton and hasn’t played since.
‘The good thing is he still has a lot of the season to cement a place in the team and be able to come back.
‘He’s a very usable player for the team and the squad, when he gets back he needs to stay back.’
Hawkins missed the Blues’ opening six pre-season games following a back injury collected on the pre-season trip to Dublin.
He returned to score twice in the final friendly at Woking, completing the 90 minutes.
Then injury to his right instep struck during training a week later, sending him back to the sidelines.
September would signal Hawkins’ latest injury comeback – but he didn’t see out the month.
Jackett added: ‘I think people appreciated Oli last year, it’s just that perhaps he lacked the ability to get in behind people at times.
‘But in the three games he’s had this season, he still hasn't looked poor, he has played well, I have been pleased with him.’