Ben Heneghan has stepped up his recovery from the hamstring injury that has kept him out since Boxing Day, but Nick Daws said it is important not to rush him back.
The experienced centre-back has started running again, as he edges closer to joining in with the rest of the first-team squad.
Speaking during an update from the training ground today, our Assistant Manager said: “Ben is on target for what we thought. He is out on the grass, and he did a bit of work with the ball today, separate to us working with the team. He is another important member of the squad that we have missed. I think he may still be three weeks away. It's important that we make sure he’s right. He came in at a point when he had not done a full pre-season and he picked up a few niggles. It was a shame that he picked up the injury. It’s really important that we don’t rush him back and we make sure we get him right because he will be very important for the run-in.”
Luke O’Neill returned to action as a late substitute versus Sunderland on Saturday and our Assistant Manager believes he will be a real asset to the team. Paul Osew is also close to being in contention after an injury lay-off.
“Luke has got good quality, he brings a calm presence to the team, and the sooner we can get him back into the starting 11 the better. He got his first run out on Saturday, probably slightly ahead of schedule in terms of not being able to give him a reserve game, but his rehab has been great, he has done superbly, and he is a welcome addition to the squad.
“Paul has been on the grass for the same amount of time as Luke. With Steve Seddon going back we need competition for Nesta, which Paul will bring, and that will be healthy competition, for sure.”
Terell Thomas is still missing from the squad due to illness and Ollie Palmer is sidelined with a quad injury.
Whatever the personnel chosen at Portsmouth, Nick believes the squad are well capable of getting a result at Portsmouth on Tuesday night (7.00pm kick-off).
“In my belief we have got two of the best strikers in the league and if we service them with quality we will score goals," added Nick. "Jack Rudoni got his goal the other day, and nearly got another goal on Saturday. That’s testament to what we are about. The boys are fresh, the boys are bright, they know they can win every game, but equally you have to go and do it. There is no shame or hiding place in that – that’s the way it is.”
Nick’s full interview ahead of Portsmouth can be viewed by clicking on the link below.