Pompey hero laid low by virus outbreak

David Norris is a doubt for the trip to Doncaster after suffering from a virus this week
David Norris is a doubt for the trip to Doncaster after suffering from a virus this week

South coast derby hero David Norris is battling to make tomorrow’s Doncaster trip after becoming the latest casualty of a virus at Pompey.

But Ricardo Rocha has been given the go-ahead to play at the Keepmoat Stadium, with his calf problem not as serious as first feared.

Norris had to be sent home from training yesterday having picked up the bug.

Kelvin Etuhu and several of his team-mates have also been struck down with the illness during the past week.

In addition, Michael Appleton revealed some of the backroom staff had been laid low.

Pompey’s manager admitted the virus was having an effect on his squad – yet was eager not to use it as an excuse.

Appleton said: ‘A few of the boys have had viruses and still have.

‘David Norris missed training yesterday and had to go home because he was ill.

‘Even before the Southampton game, Kelvin Etuhu missed a couple of days training because he was suffering really badly with it.

‘A couple of the staff and a few of the players are struggling a bit, as well.

‘It doesn’t make life easy, although that’s not an excuse.

‘We wouldn’t use it as an excuse, but it certainly doesn’t help our cause.’

At least Rocha will be fit, despite limping out of the action against Millwall in the week.

But he has been given the all-clear for tomorrow.

In addition, Dave Kitson is also fit again, although Tal Ben Haim (calf) is out.

Appleton added: ‘Ricardo will be fine. It was more of a knock than a pull and he trained yesterday.

‘Ben Haim is definitely out. Kitson is okay again. He also trained yesterday.’