Pompey to stick by injured pair

Marcos Painter. Picture: Joe Pepler
Marcos Painter. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford has pledged to fulfil Pompey’s duty of care for Marcos Painter and Josh Warren, despite their summer exits.

The duo were both released by the Blues at the end of the season.

They finished the campaign with long-term injuries – never playing under Awford in the first-team.

Central-defender Warren damaged knee ligaments during a loan spell at Chelmsford, while Painter has not played since March because of a similar setback.

But Pompey have allowed the pair to continue using club facilities during their ongoing rehabilitation.

Awford views it as a moral responsibility for the Blues to undertake, leaving Painter and Warren carrying on working their way back to fitness alongside Tom Craddock.

And they will remain at Fratton Park until they are ready to train elsewhere.

‘With Marcos, the situation is we will get him to the point where he can come out and train, then he will move on,’ said Awford.

‘We will make his injury better to the point where he could go to a football club and join in with pre-season training.

‘It’s the same with Josh Warren, who had a knee operation as well. They will be looked after.

‘It is our duty of care and, morally, the right thing to do.

‘Fair play to the physio department, they wanted that as well and felt it was right.

‘I agreed and so did Mark Catlin.

‘It is a no-brainer for me – I think it is the moral thing to do.’

Craddock is the only one of the 27-man first-team squad out of action at present, with his return date still not set.

The Blues are, however, confident the striker will be back following his injury-hit maiden campaign.

Painter also had several spells on the sidelines after joining as a free agent, although did impress in his 18 matches.

His final outing was the 5-1 defeat at Scunthorpe and, having been subsequently relegated to the bench, then sustained a knee injury in training.

Warren came through the Fratton ranks and last season made 10 appearances for Skrill South side Chelmsford, primarily at right-back.