Paul Cook is adamant he would have no qualms playing Jack Whatmough against Wycombe as Pompey’s injury problems pile up.
The youngster has not featured in a Blues squad since sustaining knee ligament damage against Cheltenham more than 13 months ago.
Jack is very much part of it, he can come back and play in a blink, make no bones about thatPaul Cook
Yet Whatmough could be called upon tomorrow, with injuries striking at the heart of Cook’s defence.
Adam Webster is definitely out after being forced off against York, with the 21-year-old currently wearing a brace on his left leg.
Christian Burgess missed that dreadful 3-1 defeat at Bootham Crescent with an ankle problem and is rated a doubt for the visit of the Chairboys.
An alternative to partner Matt Clarke in the centre of defence is Adam Barton, who replaced Webster on Tuesday night and again demonstrated he can cope in the unfamiliar role.
As for Whatmough, who played six matches for the Hawks before being recalled from his loan spell in February, Pompey’s manager insists the door is open.
Cook said: ‘We are getting stretched now with injuries.
‘We are going to have to make changes to the team tomorrow – at times like this it is all hands to the pump a little bit.
‘The injuries don’t look good from the other night, that is why I am trying to keep a little bit of a lid on it and not reveal too much.
‘We had Burgess and Gary Roberts out and have another two (Kyle Bennett and Webster) now. That’s another couple on top of the ones we had from Saturday, so we just have to be careful now.
‘Jack is very much part of it, he can come back and play in a blink, make no bones about that.
‘He trained with the first team yesterday, of course he is ready. I would put him in tomorrow without a blink, I have no problems with it.
‘I would put Adam back in as well. He never lets us down, is a smashing footballer, a really good lad who reads the game really well.
‘He is a very intelligent player and, in my opinion, a good member of our playing squad.’
Cook declined to go into depth on the current Fratton Park injury situation, yet the availability of Bennett also remains a concern.
He left Bootham Crescent on crutches and is still being assessed by the Blues’ medical staff.
Roberts missed that loss, having taken a blow to the head against Plymouth and could potentially return tomorrow.
Regardless, there will again be changes to the starting line-up.
Cook added: ‘People shouldn’t read too much into team selections right now.
‘Let’s try to achieve a level of success by getting into the play-offs and have something at the end of the season to play for.
‘There will be no excuses about injuries from me, we have a good squad and there are lads waiting to come in and play.
‘We just want to try to win a game of football tomorrow which might see our fans go home with a smile on their face.
‘Then we can all reflect on being close to maybe a play-off place, which will give us a chance to go to Wembley.’