Craddock pencilled-in for pre-season start

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

Tom Craddock has been pencilled in for the start of Pompey pre-season training.

The former Oxford striker has been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign following a knee operation at the end of last year.

But boss Richie Barker is hopeful the 27-year-old will be able to return for pre-season, around the beginning of July.

Craddock has now progressed on to crutches, having been confined to his Southsea home.

Pompey’s manager recently met up with his former Hartlepool team-mate and is optimistic just when he can have him back in his ranks.

‘I recently had a cup of tea with Tom, we chatted about a few of our old stories at Hartlepool when he came as a young lad and he seems fairly positive,’ said Barker.

‘I apologised it wasn’t a little bit earlier but he understood. He was fine and knew how busy I had been and it does help I’d met him before.

‘He’s got a lot of work to do and it’s a long, long road he is on. He won’t be the first and won’t be the last.

‘The conversation we had was about some of the times and some of the dates – and he’s not a million miles away from making the return to pre-season training.

‘It is going to be a couple of weeks either way, depending on the surgeon feedback during his next visit.

‘He won’t be a million miles away from the first day of pre-season.

‘Inevitably, he is going to be down because he has been locked in his flat for two months on a machine, so you would be a strong-willed character if you weren’t down about that.

‘But when I saw him he was upbeat and we talked about the summer and pre-season.’