Portsmouth’s fears that Jermain Defoe and Lassana Diarra would need surgery have lifted after both players were examined by specialists.
But neither England striker Defoe (calf) nor France midfielder Diarra (ankle) will be fit for tomorrow night’s glamour UEFA Cup tie against AC Milan at Fratton Park.
Captain Sol Campbell (toe) and winger John Utaka (hip) have also been ruled out while midfielder Sean Davis, recovering from flu, is another doubt.
Diarra could still be out for another month after being injured at West Ham nearly three weeks ago but both Campbell and Defoe have an outside chance of making the squad for Sunday’s home game with Blackburn.
Manager Tony Adams said: “It’s all good signs for the long term really.
“Jermain trained for the first time today since he came back from Germany with England and Lassana is still out in France being looked after but it is a relief that operations are not going to be necessary.”
With David Nugent, Lauren and Jerome Thomas ineligible having not been included in former manager Harry Redknapp’s initial UEFA Cup squad, Adams is struggling to put together a squad for the Group E match.
Defoe could even be named on the bench to make up the numbers although Adams will not risk using him.
Milan have brought 21 players to the south coast, including Brazilian stars Ronaldinho and Kaka, but are without skipper Paolo Maldini and look set to field former Arsenal pair Philippe Senderos and Mathieu Flamini as well as £30m ex-Chelsea flop Andriy Shevchenko.
Portsmouth (from): James, Johnson, Kaboul, Distin, Hreidarsson, Pamarot, Diop, Davis, Hughes, Belhadj, Mvuemba, A Traore, Little, Kanu, Crouch, Wilson, Defoe, Ashdown.