Portsmouth double injury set-back ahead of impending pre-season training return


Pre-season officially kicks-off on June 20 when Danny Cowley’s men return to their Hilsea training base.

Presently no new faces are scheduled to be in attendance, although the Blues still possess a 17-man first-team squad plus four youngsters from their Academy.

However, Joe Morrell and Haji Mnoga are currently sidelined, having collected injuries while on international duty.

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Overlooked for their World Cup finals qualification triumph over Ukraine, the Blues midfielder had been restored to Rob Page’s starting XI.

However, Morrell was forced off the pitch in the 59th minute as the Dutch ran out 2-1 winners, ruling him out of their following encounter with Belgian.

The full extent of his toe injury has still to be revealed, yet the 25-year-old can be expected to miss the opening weeks of pre-season.

Joe Morrell’s broken toe sustained while on international duty will keep him out of Pompey’s return to pre-season training. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

In addition, team-mate Mnoga is currently out of action ahead of a crucial summer period in which he needs to catch the eye of Cowley following his successful Weymouth loan spell.

The versatile defender had to be substituted in the 38th minute of Tanzania’s 1-1 draw against Niger in the Africa Cup of Nations at the start of the month.

The groin issue subsequently kept him out of their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Algeria four days later.

The good news for the 20-year-old is the injury is regarded as minor, thereby shouldn’t impact significantly upon his pre-season.

It remains to be seen whether Monday will also mark the injury returns of Jayden Reid, Reeco Hackett, Denver Hume and Kieron Freeman.

Reid missed the whole of last season after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage in a friendly at Luton in July 2021.

Freeman ruptured ankle ligaments against Oxford United in February, ruling him out of the remainder of the campaign.

In addition, Hackett, who signed a new two-year deal last month, was absent from February with a knee injury, while Hume’s availability was hampered by a prolapsed disc in his back.

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