Striker winning Pompey fitness race

Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Conor Chaplin is winning his fight to be fit for Pompey’s trip to Hartlepool.

But Adam Webster’s ankle injury will keep him out of action beyond the final league fixture.

Jack Whatmough, Kyle Bennett and Conor Chaplin with Pompey fans at AFC Wimbledon. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jack Whatmough, Kyle Bennett and Conor Chaplin with Pompey fans at AFC Wimbledon. Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook was without nine players for Tuesday night’s victory at AFC Wimbledon.

Paul Jones also joined the casualty list during the 1-0 win when he was forced off at the break with a thigh problem.

He was replaced by Brian Murphy, who is now in the frame for a first start in 21 matches, having initially missed out through concussion.

Meanwhile, there is brighter news on Chaplin, who was kept out of the Kingsmeadow clash with a groin problem.

The youngster sat with the fans for the match and the Blues are optimistic he will be available for selection this Saturday.

Yet while having the 10-goal striker back would undoubtedly offer a boost, there remain injury concerns over his team-mates.

Webster, who damaged ligaments in his left ankle during a tackle at York City, had a protective boot removed earlier this week.

However, the 21-year-old is not expected to return until after the Northampton match on May 7 – coinciding with the start of the play-offs.

Another major concern is Matt Clarke, who damaged his groin during last weekend’s victory over Wycombe.

Jack Whatmough’s back problem has left Christian Burgess as Cook’s only recognised central defender available for duty.

Although Adam Barton again impressed as a stand-in on Tuesday night.

The Blues’ medical team are continuing to assess Marc McNulty (hamstring) and Kyle Bennett (ankle), as well as Jones.