Bryn Morris faces an 'acid test' to decide the next stage of his Pompey return.
And that looks set to have an impact on Kenny Jackett's thinking over midfield recruitment in January.
Jackett is now looking for some clarity on the the 23-year-old's situation in the next fortnight with squad planning in mind.
He said: 'We hope for some direction by January with it because he’s a month after the operation.
'The acid test will be going out training. That has to come after six weeks (from the op) and he’s over four weeks.
'We’ll see how he goes when he has the acid test of training.
'If he keeps having problems then we’ll go back to the drawing board and consult a specialist again.
'If you’re looking at January he should be clear by then and have some direction, because every time he’s got to a decent point where he’s outside or close to joining he keeps breaking down and feeling the same thing.'
Morris' injury problems have been the story of his Pompey career since arriving from Shrewsbury in January.
Those problems have stopped his form building and restricted the former England age-group captain to eight appearances.
Jackett added: 'In terms of Bryn it’s a frustration but injuries happen
'He shoudn’t be too much longer. We’re looking for him to be outside in the next week or two.
'Hopefully we can come out in a week or two and build up.
'The pain has come back and then gone away. It’s been spasmodic to be truthful.
'It’s been an up and down road for Bryn. Even this last month it hasn’t been plain sailing.
'It’s not been setbacks but he’s had pain, although as it stands he’s clear and okay.
'Over the last few weeks, though, when we’ve tried to step him up he’s had pain in there.
'He clearly has a problem in the abdomen area and he feels it at different times.
'He’s a naturally fit lad but the longer you’re out the more time it will take you to come back.'