Cooper loan stay in doubt

Shaun Cooper is currently out with a hip injury
Shaun Cooper is currently out with a hip injury

Shaun Cooper’s Pompey future is in the balance after injury ruled him out for at least the next fortnight.

The on-loan Crawley man hobbled off with a hip problem in the weekend draw with Carlisle.

And after being assessed by physio Steve Allen, a small muscle tear has been discovered that will keep Cooper out for the next two weeks.

With his current deal up on Monday, after Saturday’s trip to Oldham, caretaker boss Guy Whittingham now faces a tricky decision on whether to renew the loan and wait on his return or replace the 29-year-old with another name.

But Whittingham is prepared to wait and see how Cooper responds to initial treatment before he decides whether to look elsewhere.

‘Shaun’s loan is up next week but we’ll wait and assess his injury,’ said Whittingham.

‘Of course we would consider renewing the loan.

‘I think he has done well. When he moved out to right-back at Hartlepool he did a solid job there and was a big part of us keeping a clean sheet up there.

‘We’ll see when the swelling has gone down and see what he is like.

‘We think it’s bad enough and it’s not one of those where he will be back for next week, so we’ll just have to assess it.’

While Cooper has already been ruled out for this weekend, there was better news for David Connolly, who will be back in full training later this week after his recent hamstring strain.

The much-travelled striker has missed the past four games after coming off in the 3-2 home defeat to Colchester earlier this month.

But he is set to be back in contention for the trip to Boundary Park this weekend.

Whittingham said: ‘David will hopefully be training this week so he will come back into the frame.’