Pompey defender in race to recover

Steve Allen and Joe Devera. Burton Albion v Pompey. September 14, 2013. Picture: Joe Pepler

Steve Allen and Joe Devera. Burton Albion v Pompey. September 14, 2013. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Joe Devera faces a race against time to preserve his ever-present Pompey record.

The Blues defender’s chances are rated at 50-50 to recover from his hamstring strain in time for the visit of Fleetwood on Saturday.

The injury saw Devera substituted early in the win at Burton Albion – with Bondz N’Gala replacing him in central defence.

The former Swindon man, who has started every game for the Blues so far this term, has been undergoing treatment under the watchful eye of physio and assistant manager Steve Allen this week.

The injury was caught early enough to prevent a more serious problem.

And that means he has not yet been ruled out of the Fleetwood showdown.

But Allen admits it will be a close call if he is to return so quickly.

Allen said: ‘It’s a grade one hamstring strain and normal recovery time for that type of injury is seven to 10 days.

‘He is touch and go for the weekend.

‘He’s probably 50-50 at the moment but we will see how he progresses towards the end of the week.’

Allen made the call on the pitch last weekend – wasting no time in making the signal to the Blues bench after Devera went down early on.

The assistant boss said: ‘At the time, Joe said he felt his hamstring and wasn’t sure if he could carry on.

‘I told him if he was feeling his hamstring, it wasn’t worth the risk so that was it and he came off straight away.

‘It is one of those injuries where it made sense to get him off and try to protect it.

‘You can’t afford to take any risks of making things worse by staying out there.

‘But he’s been working hard all week.

‘You have to be careful with the treatment but there are some slump stretching exercises and ice treatment you can do.’