Whatmough's leg up to banishÂ Pompey injury woes
Determined Jack Whatmough has been putting in the leg work to banish any injury issues.
The 21-year-old's progress has been hampered by numerous injury setbacks during a promising Fratton Park career.
However, he has surged through Pompey'sÂ pre-season to claim a starting spot for Saturday's League One opener against Luton.
For Whatmough, a summer focus on strengthening his leg muscles is paying off handsomely as he cements the foundations to prevent himself being sidelined.
And he believes it's an approach which can finally yield an injury-free campaign.
Whatmough said: '˜I'm just hoping for an injury-free season.
'˜My focus this summer wasn't so much onÂ fitness but in building my legs. It's about building your legs and giving myself every opportunity that my knee will be solid, my ankles and my back.
'˜That is pretty much all I have done this summer.
'˜I spoke to our strength and conditioning coach and it was agreed the main thing was to batter my legs all summer for a chance of an injury-free season.
'˜Once you have an anterior cruciate ligament injury, you lose the muscle in the leg and there is a 50 per cent change of re-doing it in the first six months. So for me to do my MCL was expected.
'˜After returning from that, I knew I had three months left of the season toÂ do well, then have the summer to build my legs.
'˜That was my focus, not so much my fitness because that comes through pre-season. I came back with a base fitness which everyone will have.
'˜As a footballer, you can have six months off and still have a base fitness because of what you have done before.
'˜I hope my injury problems are now behind me. I've worked hard on it and still work closely with the physios and strength and conditioning coach.
'˜It's more difficult to work on your legs during the season, there's training and games.
'˜But you have to do what you have to do '“ and if I can prevent anything happening again'‹'‹'‹'‹ I will.'
Whatmough dislodged Christian Burgess from the side for eight matches at the end of last season.
However, a groin problem saw Burgess back for the final two games.
Whatmough added: '˜I had a nice little run at the end of the season, which was great after the campaign I'd had with injury.
'˜Then there was my groin, but hopefully things are right now.'Â