Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has revealed that Brett Pitman and Lee Brown will return to training, in a bid to prove their fitness ahead of the second leg of their League One play-off semi final with Sunderland on Thursday night.
Both players missed the first leg at The Stadium of Light on Saturday through injury, with Pitman struggling with a hamstring problem and Brown ruled out through an achilles injury.
Jack Ross’ Black Cats will take a 1-0 lead to Fratton Park following Chris Maguire’s thumping volley midway through the second half at The Stadium of Light, and will have Alim Ozturk available after the defender’s red card for denying a clear goalscoring to Gareth Evans was rescinded.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the return leg, Jackett revealed that both Pitman and Brown are set to return to training on Wednesday in what is “effectively a fitness test to see whether they can play on Thursday”.
???? Jackett revealed that Lee Brown and Brett Pitman will return to training tomorrow: “It’s effectively a fitness test to see whether they can play on Thursday.”#Pompey
— Portsmouth FC (@officialpompey) May 14, 2019
Despite making just 32 appearances this season, Pitman is Pompey’s joint second top scorer this season with 11 goals.
Defender Brown meanwhile has been a key feature of Portsmouth’s defence this season, missing just two games throughout the whole of the regular season in his first campaign with the club after joining from Bristol Rovers last summer.
You can understand why Jackett is so keen to give these two players the chance to prove their fitness for Thursday.
Both players have made key contributions to Portsmouth’s campaign this season, and with Pompey needing a win if they are to keep their dreams of a return to the Championship alive, you never know who it could be to provide that crucial moment, meaning Jackett will want to keep as many options available as possible.