Paul Jones’ Pompey setback – but Gary Roberts is back

Pompey keeper Paul Jones Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey keeper Paul Jones Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Paul Jones has not featured for Pompey since the 1-1 draw at Oxford United in September
  • Roberts back in full training after almost two months out

Paul Jones is out for another month following more knee surgery.

But Gary Roberts today returned to full training to put an end to his spell on the sidelines.

Gary will not be involved this weekend at all, then hopefully will have a full week’s training before we go to Orient

Paul Cook

And Paul Cook is pencilling in the Boxing Day trip to Leyton Orient as the midfielder’s potential return to his match-day squad.

Jones has not played for Pompey since suffering knee ligament damage in the 1-1 draw at Oxford United in September.

The keeper turned in an impressive display on his first league start of the campaign, only for injury to intervene.

Now the 29-year-old has undergone additional keyhole surgery after complaining of discomfort in recent weeks.

And Cook expects Jones to be out of action for another four weeks.

The Pompey boss said: ‘Paul has undergone keyhole surgery.

‘He wasn’t too happy with it so he has gone back in.

‘They’ve had a little look at it and done a little bit of this and that.

‘Hopefully, he can be back as soon as possible.

‘I don’t think there is anything more which has come out of it, which is pleasing, so he is out for three or four weeks.

’It’s more to ease his mind than anything else.’

On a brighter note, Roberts is moving towards his Blues comeback from an ankle ligament problem.

The issue has troubled him since the visit of Barnet in September, although the midfielder has not featured since October.

Earlier this month Roberts told The News he was targeting Boxing Day for a return.

Today he trained with the rest of the squad for the first time – and Cook is also looking at the visit to Orient.

‘Roberts was back in training yesterday,’ said Cook.

‘He will not be involved in this weekend at all, then hopefully will have a full week’s training before we go to Orient.

‘You would have to say Orient is a possibility at the minute. I wouldn’t suggest to play, but certainly suggest to be involved in the squad because any team that has Gary Roberts in it is a better team, that’s for sure.

‘He has accepted this weekend has come too quick so at least we can get more minutes into him, work him hard on the training ground and get him into better shape.

‘Matt Tubbs is a week behind Gary, so probably two weeks away.

‘Let’s see how Tubbsy does next week, we will have more of an idea after that.’