One in, one out for Pompey

Paul Cook faces the prospect of losing his captain as he prepares to welcome back his talisman.

Skipper Michael Doyle suffered a knee injury early in the 2-1 win at Northampton Town but lived up to his reputation as a tough customer when he played through the pain to complete the game.

Michael Doyle and Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler

Michael Doyle and Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Irishman has since undergone a scan and minor damage has been revealed.

But the midfielder has refused to rule himself out of the Boxing Day trip to Leyton Orient and Cook is still weighing up whether to risk him.

Gary Roberts has now been declared fit and the Blues boss will restore him to the squad for the first time in more than two months at Brisbane Road.

But Doyle would need to be dragged out of the team kicking and screaming and Cook has yet to make his decision.

I couldn’t speak highly enough of how tough he (Doyle) is

Paul Cook

‘Michael has got a little problem with his knee at the minute,’ said the Blues boss.

‘He did it in the first eight minutes of the game and then played for the rest of the match – it’s absolutely unreal.

‘I couldn’t speak highly enough of how tough he is.

‘He shouldn’t have played on with it but that’s Michael for you.

‘You would never have looked at him and thought “he’s injured”.

‘He went to see the physio on Monday and Michael told me “it’s alright, they told me there’s no need for a scan”.

‘Then I saw the physio five minutes later, who told me they were going for a scan at 12.30pm.

‘He doesn’t want to miss one game, so we will have to work out whether we risk him or not. But we need to do it properly.’

Doyle looked to have picked up a nasty injury early in the contest after an awkward fall.

But the 34-year-old was then back in the action moments later and appeared to show no ill effects.

Roberts was struggling for form as he was hampered by an ankle injury and has not featured since the 1-1 draw with Stevenage back in October.

But the former Chesterfield man has now been given the all-clear and is playing without any pain, even though the Pompey boss admits it is difficult to find a place in the side for him at the moment.

Cook said: ‘Gary will definitely be in the frame for Leyton Orient.

‘He’s training well, looking strong now and had the all-clear from the specialist so everything is good for Gary.

‘It’s difficult to fit him into the team at the minute.

‘But he’s Gary Roberts, so we have a problem!

‘Gary is a good lad and he’s not stupid.

‘He will have watched the team grow and there will be nobody happier.

‘If he has to wait and be patient, that’s life.

‘He’s a quality player and is playing without any pain so it’s great to have him back.

‘It will be like having a new signing and our supporters will see what he can do when he is fully fit.’