Shrewsbury and ex-Aberdeen man Curtis Main: Portsmouth signed me to win promotion - but nobody could diagnose my injury

Curtis Main was recruited to spearhead Pompey’s promotion from League Two.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 5:30 pm
Curtis Main's final Pompey start was the December 2017 victory over Northampton in the Checkatrade Trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Instead they achieved the 2016-17 feat largely without the hard-working forward who suffered such a torrid personal campaign.

The former Middlesbrough rattled in five goals from his opening 12 Blues appearances by October 2016 – and never played for Paul Cook again.

An injury to his left knee which struggled to be diagnosed condemned Main to the sidelines for six months.

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Upon his long-awaited return, the Blues were well into their stride to claim the League Two crown – and he wasn’t required.

Now with Shrewsbury following service with Motherwell and Aberdeen, the 28-year-old will face his former club on Saturday.

And he reflects on a difficult 18-month Fratton Park spell which totalled 22 games, six goals and a title.

Main told The News: ‘One word that sums my time up at Pompey would be “frustrating”.

Curtis Main scored six goals in 22 appearances for Pompey before his departure for Motherwell. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘I am very confident that, if fit, I would have played under Paul Cook and have certainly helped.

‘He never really had his striker, which I believe I would have been after signing me as a nine. That added another piece of frustration to the pot.

‘I had intolerable pain in my left knee and tried everything, I couldn’t have worked any harder. It wasn’t necessarily a fitness thing, I was fit in that respect, I just wasn’t clinically fit. I kept breaking down.

‘Nobody could put their finger on what it was – and I wasn’t too happy with the explanation at the time.

Curtis Main had to wear a headband after needing 14 stitches in a head wound sustained against Wycombe in September 2016. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘The physios didn’t really have the answer, they even sent me to St George’s Park to try to get it sorted. Nobody could answer what was happening.

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‘I had my knee scanned, with knee surgeons looking to see if anything needed fixing. Niall Flynn, the knee surgeon the club used, said he wasn’t going to operate on it because it was mechanically fine in terms of all the ligaments.

‘In the end, I outsourced somebody to get myself right. I paid another physio away from the club and he identified a nervous system issue in my knee.

‘I worked with that person doing mobility work, a lot of core strength, anything to align my body so that nothing was out of place.

‘It worked. I didn’t need an operation – and was back towards the end of the season.’

In January 2018, Main left by mutual consent to join Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership.

He joined Shrewsbury in the last transfer window until the season’s end, so far scoring twice in 11 appearances, including Tuesday night’s 2-1 at Burton.

The 28-year-old added: ‘One of the first conversations I had with Kenny was basically: “You are not part of my plans, so if you want to get a new club, you can”.

‘I told him that I hadn’t yet done myself justice at Pompey and wanted to stay and fight.

‘That’s why I ended up sticking around for another six months until the January 2018 window.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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