Fogden steps up return

Wes Fodgen steps up his rehabilitation from injury in the reserve game against AFC Wimbledon tonight
Wes Fodgen steps up his rehabilitation from injury in the reserve game against AFC Wimbledon tonight

WES FOGDEN is set to step up his comeback at AFC Wimbledon tonight.

The midfielder is building his return from a serious knee injury, which has kept him out for seven months.

That means he is set for a 60-minute reserves outing in the Final Third Development League at Merstham (7pm).

Fogden got 30 minutes under his belt, as he came through the 3-1 friendly loss with Woking unscathed, last week.

It’s part of a ‘graded’ return for the 26-year-old after he picked up the injury in training during pre-season.

Pompey first-team coach, Paul Hardyman, is pleased with the progress Fogden is making and is looking forward to him taking the next step on the road to a full recovery.

‘We’re looking for Wes to get over half a match,’ said Hardyman.

‘It’s too early for a full 90 minutes, but it will be between a half and a full match – probably about 60 minutes.

‘Once he’s done that he will be ready for 90 minutes.

‘It’s basically a pre-season for him.

‘It’s the same as we would when the lads come back after the summer.

‘You build them up steadily – and it’s the same with Foggy.

‘It’s a graded return and that means not breaking a player when he’s been out injured.

‘He’s back and he’s doing really well.’

Pompey are set to send a powerful side into the clash with the Dons.

Michael Poke, Adam Webster, Johnny Ertl, Ben Chorley, Nick Awford, Craig Westcarr, Nigel Atangana, Conor Chaplin, Andy Barcham and Fogden all have first-team experience and are set to play.

Academy player Calvin Davies has been rewarded for a promising display for the under-18s against Swindon on Saturday by being called into the squad.

Alex Bass, Brandon Haunstrup, Snorre Nilsen, and James Granger are the other Academy talents who will make the step up to the reserves.

Hardyman added: ‘We have a good mix of young and senior players in the squad.

‘It will be good for them to get some action under their belt.’

Pompey (from): Poke, Webster, Ertl, Chorley, Haunstrup, Nilsen, Granger, Awford, Fogden, Westcarr, Atangana, Chaplin, Barcham, Bass, Davies