Chorley targets return from ‘freak’ setback

Pompey skipper Ben Chorley Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey skipper Ben Chorley Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Chorley is targeting a Pompey return next week as he recuperates from his ‘freak’ injury.

The Blues skipper has been sidelined since August 30 after picking up a dead leg against Newport County.

On the same day he returned to training following that complaint, the defender suffered another setback by pulling a calf.

That combination of injuries has kept the 31-year-old out of action for the past four matches.

In addition, Chorley will be absent from today’s Fratton Park visit of Wycombe Wanderers.

But he has now returned to gym work and is gunning to make a training return towards the back end of next week.

He said: ‘The calf injury was a freak thing.

‘Maybe I came back too quickly from the dead leg, I don’t know really, it was one of those things.

‘It is the same leg as my dead leg. I had two or three days off and in my first training session back maybe I compensated. I’m not sure.

‘I’ve gone round and round the houses with it and have done an actual calf programme every morning for the last four months.

‘I should be like Popeye – but unfortunately it’s got a strain in it.

‘It is not through overwork or playing too many games – that is not an issue.

‘It is one of those freak things.

‘Believe me, if you asked Duggo (Sean Duggan), the physio, he would tell you I have been on the phone to him three or four times a day saying “Could it be this, could it be that?” because obviously I don’t want it to happen again in the future.

‘With the way I live my life, unfortunately, it was one of those things.

‘I couldn’t do any more or less than what I am actually doing.’

Before today, Chorley has missed six of Pompey’s 11 matches in all competitions this season.

In addition, he was absent from the pre-season friendly with Bournemouth.

Andy Awford has already admitted he is unconcerned over his skipper’s injury record.

Chorley suffered an Achilles problem and had to serve two suspensions last term after arriving at Fratton Park in January.

Nonetheless, he has largely been a regular when in the match-day 18, particularly with Awford opting for a three-man defence on occasions this season.

In his absence, Joe Devera, Paul Robinson and Jack Whatmough operated as a back three in Tuesday night’s League Two win over Dagenham & Redbridge.

Johnny Ertl has also started two matches as a central defender.

Now Chorley is eyeing a return.

He added: ‘I’ve had to get my head down.

‘It took two or three days because, obviously, I was gutted by my latest injury.

‘But I am good now and will hopefully be ready to go within the next week.’