Luke Varney has undergone an injection in a bid to speed up his Pompey return.
Now Michael Appleton is pinning his hopes on the Blues’ joint-top scorer being back in training before the week is out.
The 29-year-old hasn’t kicked a ball since straining medial knee ligaments against Burnley.
That was just over a month ago, a period which has seen him absent from five matches.
Although steadily making a recovery, yesterday Varney received an injection to help the process.
The former Derby forward is itching to return to action after a highly-promising start to his Pompey career since his summer move.
And Appleton is keen to have him available once again having so far started just two of his matches in charge.
He said: ‘Varns is getting closer and closer. I’m fed up of saying it!
‘He is absolutely champing at the bit to get an opportunity to come back.
‘When you do your medial knee ligament – and everyone who has done it knows what I am talking about – it is such an awkward pain in the neck at times because there is always that little end point that you feel.
‘I think it is dwindling and dwindling.
‘Hopefully we may see him on the training field towards the end of this week.’
Back in November, Varney was sidelined with a hamstring problem.
Ironically, the visit to Burnley represented his first start since returning from that injury.
The forward injured his knee during a mid-air collision with Clarets goalkeeper Lee Grant.
At the time, Varney was adjudged to have fouled Grant.
He has scored five goals in 17 matches.