Bristol Rovers’ first League One opponents Portsmouth dealt injury crisis

Portsmouth’s preparations for their League One clash with Bristol Rovers aren’t going swimmingly, with a series of injuries and illnesses.
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Bristol RoversLeague One rivals Portsmouth are dealing with an injury crisis ahead of their opening day fixture on Saturday, August 5.

The Gas will begin their 2023/24 campaign at Fratton Park against one of the favourites for promotion, and Pompey have been one of the busiest teams in the transfer market, as they bid to get out of the third tier, having been outside the Championship for a decade now.

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If Portsmouth are to be in the mix come the end of the season, they'll be hopeful of starting well, but reports from The News suggest that John Mousinho could encounter some difficulties for their curtain raiser against Rovers. A total of NINE players are currently dealing with injuries and illness, and that is disrupting Pompey's preparations. Portsmouth played against Gosport and Havant and Waterlooville on the weekend, but were without the likes of Colby Bishop, Kusini Yengi, Gavin Whyte and Tom Lowery. Regan Poole, who became their tenth signing of the summer after joining from Lincoln City on a free transfer, is also playing catch-up following his move to Hampshire.

Colby Bishop, who got 20 goals last season, is contending with a minor ankle injury, and was not risked for their friendlies, meanwhile Christian Saydee who joined from AFC Bournemouth, has the exact same injury. Conor Shaughnessy, signed from Burton Albion, has an ankle injury also, but he trained, and is expected to return to match action shortly, whilst Kusini Yengi has had to undergo a scan for an ankle injury, but he will be ruled out for between a week and a fortnight.

Tom Lowery - once a transfer target of Rovers - pulled out of training having felt his groin, but that was Portsmouth's coaching staff being cautious. Joe Rafferty's been dealt a calf injury and has stopped training, but there is a hope he will rejoin his peers next week. Gavin Whyte, another player linked with a move to the Memorial Stadium, had been dealing with an illness over the last week. and then both Denver Hume and Josh Dockerill have groin and knee injuries. Dockerill's injury has been described as 'not great' and he is to undergo a scan on Monday

Rovers don't have many injuries to contend with, but are still managing both Jordan Rossiter and Josh Grant carefully, following their injuries last season. Rossiter has yet to play in a match this pre-season, having damaged his meniscus against MK Dons back in December. He was tipped to make a return in January, but suffered a setback and didn’t make an appearance again.

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Meanwhile Grant's only appearance was against Melksham Town on Friday, June 30, and he is likely to be someway off playing an entire game. He spent the entire season on the sidelines after undergoing surgery that was period for by the club to treat a knee injury that has plagued his career so far. The 24-year-old was given a one-year contract earlier this summer, and there is a hope that his injury hell will be put behind him, given how highly Joey Barton rates him.

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