Portsmouth head coach Danny Cowley says he is hopeful the injury concern picked up by midfielder Ben Close during his side’s 2-1 win over Rochdale on Friday is not serious.
Close was forced off with just three minutes of normal time remaining in that victory, after receiving treatment on the pitch from the club’s physio.
However, it seems the concern around Close ought not to be a major one, with the setback appearing to be down to a bout of cramp, rather than anything more serious.
Providing an update on the midfielder after the game, Cowley was quoted by The Portsmouth News as saying: “He just picked up a little bit of cramp. You have to credit the players because I thought they played with huge energy and a huge amount of heart which you always want.
“In football, if you can outwork, outrun and outfight the opponent then you’ll normally be on the right side.”
Are these 19 facts about Fratton Park true or false?
So far this season, Close has made just 14 league appearances for Pompey, although he has forced his way back into the side since the appointment of Cowley at Fratton Park last month.
Following that win – a third in three games in charge for Cowley – Portsmouth remain fifth in the League One table, ahead of their trip to The DW Stadium to face Wigan Athletic on Monday, a game Close is expected to be available for.
This will no doubt be a welcome relief for those of a Portsmouth persuasion.
After a difficult start to the season, Close has been rather rejuvenated under Cowley in recent weeks, producing a string of impressive performances.
You feel therefore that Pompey will want him available to call upon to have an influence on the battle for promotion in the next few weeks, and it looks as though they will be to do that.
Indeed, you wonder if Close’s enforced withdrawal on Friday was down to the toll of his efforts in the past few games, having not previously played as much football throughout the rest of the season.