Wes Fogden is ready for a Pompey first-team return.
Andy Awford added the mercurial attacker to his substitutes’ bench in the 0-0 draw against Oxford United on Saturday.
Awford chose not to introduce the 26-year-old against the U’s but promised he would not have had any qualms about throwing him on.
It means Fogden is now in the final stages of his rehabilitation from the knee injury which has kept him out since last July.
Awford said: ‘With the two lads being out, it opened a gap on the bench.
‘So I decided to put Wes on the bench in case we needed to chuck him on.
‘We didn’t and chose not to but he’s inching closer to getting back in there.
‘It’s great for him. He’s worked so hard.
‘It was awful what happened to him and we’ve missed him.
‘It’s nice to have him back in the squad.
It was an option, though, and I wouldn’t have had any qualms about throwing him on.Andy Awford
‘I wouldn’t have wanted to put him on too early because he’s still in his rehabilitation.
‘It was an option, though, and I wouldn’t have had any qualms about throwing him on.’
Fogden was scheduled to feature for the reserves against Bristol City today but the game has been called off.
Pompey will try to organise a game so the former Hawks man can get a full outing under his belt.
Awford said: ‘It’s off today against Bristol City, unfortunately.
‘It’s basically because we have a game tomorrow and haven’t got enough players.
‘Wes needs his 90 minutes in the reserves and then off he goes.
‘We’ll try to stick a game in next week.
‘He’s had 30 and 60 so far, so he’ll need that.’
Watch the Fratton faithful applaud Pompey off the pitch after the draw with Oxford United here.