Simon Ferry has ruled out the need for a summer operation to solve his ongoing back agony.
Instead, Pompey’s skipper will undergo an antibiotic treatment, sidelining him for six weeks of the close season.
The Scottish midfielder has endured a hugely frustrating maiden Blues campaign, that has been hampered by hamstring and back problems.
Not since the end of September has Ferry managed three successive appearances, while on Saturday he limped out of the Dagenham & Redbridge victory with another setback.
The recurrence of a problem stemming from his back, he is now expected to miss the remainder of the season.
That 4-1 triumph over the Daggers represented only his second game following a 14-match lay-off with the ongoing problem.
Regardless, this summer has long been pencilled in to rid Ferry of the complaint which has restricted him to only 22 outings during the campaign.
He said: ‘It has been really frustrating. I broke my toe at the start of the season and then what I thought was my hamstring turned out it was my back.
‘I don’t think it has been three games in a row since September. Obviously there is a problem there that needs to be fixed.
‘I have played in this league and the league above, so am confident I can bring something to the club and hopefully next season you will get to see a full season from me.
‘I remember getting a scan on my hamstring which revealed nothing so it was a bit baffling.
‘Then I went to a back specialist who told me I’ve got a prolapsed disk in my back and fluid comes out and touches a nerve which triggers your hamstring.
‘Basically, we’ve tried to sort out that problem ever since – but I’m still getting somebody else to sort it at the end of the season to make sure it is better.
‘An operation is not needed, I think it is going to be an injection of antibiotics which keeps you out for six weeks which will be perfect to get done over the summer.
‘Then I will be ready to start pre-season.
‘It’s a nightmare because it’s your future as well.
‘I am sitting on the sidelines with my back and results haven’t been going great and you think “I could be playing for a contract next year and there is nothing I can really do”.’
Despite his new blow, Ferry has been involved in Pompey’s past two crucial wins in the relegation fight.
And he has high praise for the impact of caretaker boss Awford.
He added: ‘I could see it watching from the stands. It was flat all the time but Awfs has come in and brought in a fresh voice and fresh ideas – I think you can see the difference.
‘Sometimes it just doesn’t work for managers. I have seen it before at Swindon, some people the players don’t respond to them or their ideas.
‘All the boys knew Awfs, which is a big thing, they know what he is all about.
‘If you are not doing it he will tell you and if you are doing it then he will tell you.
‘I think he’s got the mix really well and has come in and turned it around.’