Portsmouth midfielder ready for return but key duo are ruled out of cup action
Ben Close will be back as Pompey take on Peterborough in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday.
Blues manager Kenny Jackett is facing a busy run of matches with QPR ahead in the FA Cup and then league games against Luton and Doncaster.
He won't be able to call on Oli Hawkins or Nathan Thompson just yet though.
Neither player will be recovered from injury in time to face either Peterborough or QPR.
But having Close back involved on Tuesday will be a nice boost with Jackett expecting to continue with the policy of fielding a young side for the Checkatrade Trophy.
The Pompey boss said: ‘Ben Close is fit and okay, he trained this morning. He will be in selection this week.
‘Oli Hawkins and Nathan Thompson both will be back next week.
‘They won't make Peterborough or QPR. Luton, more likely Doncaster, is the aim for them at the moment.
‘They will commence training at some stage next week and then need a full week's training due to the nature of their injuries.’
Keeper Luke McGee is also still out injured and he will be assessed again in another two weeks.