Pompey striker’s progress encourages boss

Tom Craddock. Picture: Joe Pepler
Tom Craddock. Picture: Joe Pepler

Tom Craddock is pencilled in for a Pompey return in ‘a few weeks’.

That is the verdict of Andy Awford, who remains encouraged by the progress of the striker who has been sidelined for the past 12 months.

The 28-year-old is being eased into Blues training as he comes back from the knee injury which has threatened his career.

Since arriving at Fratton Park in the summer of 2013, Craddock has been restricted to just 11 appearances and one goal.

But Awford is upbeat over the ex-Oxford United forward’s ongoing fitness.

He said: ‘Tom is in and out of training at the moment.

‘He is doing well, that is positive.

‘He does a couple of sessions, then they leave him out for a session or two to make sure it is settled, then he comes back in for a bit more.

‘He’s not going to be ready for another few weeks yet.

‘But he is in that rehabilitation programme and is where they want him to be, which is good.’

James Dunne is anticipated to be available early in the new year following an operation on his left knee.

Meanwhile, Wes Fogden remains on course for a potential return from his knee ligament injury he sustained around April, although it remains early in his rehabilitation.

Danny East is the other long-term absentee but he is also progressing.

Awford added: ‘Remember Danny has been out a long, long, time.

‘He is not in full training yet. He is a bit like Craddock, being in and out at the moment.

‘When we train on 3G – which we have had to do of late because of the weather and the pitches – some of them can’t do full sessions on it because of the change of surface, so we have to be careful with that.’