Portsmouth boss makes a stunning statement as Club reveals date for skipper’s return in promotion battle boost with Oxford United…

Portsmouth set date for skipper’s return in promotion battle boost with Oxford United, Bolton Wanderers, Peterborough United & Co

Pompey have targeted a return to first-team action for Marlon Pack this month.

Blues boss John Mousinho is hoping to see the Blues skipper back in league action against Blackpool on November 25.

The key figure has been sidelined for over four weeks since suffering ankle ligament damage at Wigan at the end of September, in an incident which saw Latics striker Charlie Wyke dismissed.

Pack is now training outside, however, and making decent progress in his recovery, with Mousinho seeing a Fratton return after the international break as realistic.

He said: ‘Marlon’s getting along really – the target now for Marlon is that Blackpool game.

‘He’s been out on the grass, so with the international break it gives him a bit more time. He’s been out on the grass doing really well and Marlon rehabs really well, so we’re looking forward to having him back.’

Mousinho acknowledged Pompey now have to finish Pack’s rehab carefully and perhaps rein in the Buckland boy’s eagerness to play.

The head coach said other games could be considered to help the midfielder return, with Pompey completing their EFL Trophy group stage fixtures at Leyton Orient next week and second round outing on the horizon at the start of next month.

Success in the FA Cup at Chesterfield would see a second round date over the first weekend in December.

Mousinho added: ‘You have to acknowledge he’s been out for six to eight weeks with a difficult injury.

‘We need to get him up to speed as quickly as possible and a lot of that is going to be out on the training pitch. If we have other games we can get him into that will be part of it, and getting him on as a sub possibly.

‘Marlon will be frustrated with all of that, because he’ll want to be in the starting line-up the minute he’s back. I love that about him, but we’ll have to manage that and get him up to speed as quickly as possible – that’s up for us to judge when he’s ready to come back in.’

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