Striker out for the season

Pompey striker Tom Craddock Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey striker Tom Craddock Picture: Joe Pepler

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Tom Craddock has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

The injury-hit Pompey striker underwent surgery recently in a bid to solve an ongoing knee problem.

Few expected to see him back in action this term.

And while boss Richie Barker has effectively written the 27-year-old out of his plans this season, he is confident the former Oxford man can return from the injury.

Barker said: ‘I don’t see him playing again this season.

‘I sort of knew he was ruled out when I came in. He was never really included in the plans this season.

‘I had an operation on my knee at a similar time and didn’t play for the rest of the season.

‘But I know what he’s going through and it’s hard.’

The Blues boss believes Craddock will make a return to action for Pompey, having signed a two-year deal last summer.

‘I know it’s a fairly serious operation and I would say he has age on his side,’ added Barker.

‘He has got an opportunity to come back because of his age.

‘If he was 35, then there would probably be more concerns about it.’

As part of his rehabilitation, Craddock, who made 11 appearances and scored one goal in his debut Blues season, must spend several hours using specialist equipment to keep the joint moving.

Barker explained: ‘He has a machine that keeps his leg moving for eight hours per day.

‘Usually, injured players are around the club because they want to feel part of things.

‘But this machine means he can’t get out of the house.

‘So I am planning to visit him this week.’