Pompey hit by new injury blow
Portsmouth defender Tal Ben-Haim looks set to miss the FA Cup semi-final clash with Spurs through injury.
Last Updated: 31/03/10 11:41am
Portsmouth have been hit by another injury setback with defender Tal Ben-Haim set to miss the FA Cup semi-final clash with Tottenham.
The Fratton Park club are already reeling after learning that defender Hermann Hreidarsson and striker Danny Webber have been sidelined for six months.
Now Ben-Haim has added to their concerns with the Israel international still troubled by a groin problem which required surgery earlier this year.
Coach Paul Groves confirmed that the well-travelled centre-back is unlikely to have recovered in time for the Wembley showdown on 11th April.
"Tal's been to see his national team doctor," he told the Portsmouth News.
"He will be a big doubt. A lot are coming on to their rehab work but he is looking increasingly doubtful for the semi-final.
"Danny has ruptured his anterior cruciate and he is going to be out for a long period.
"'I've never known a period like it, not in my time here."
There is some good news for beleaguered manager Avram Grant, with Ricardo Rocha, Tommy Smith and John Utaka back in training.
Groves is also keeping his fingers crossed that Nadir Belhadj, Marc Wilson and Papa Bouba Diop will have proved their fitness before the Spurs clash.
He added: "Marc Wilson has a hamstring injury and will start his rehab today. You would like to think he has a chance.
"The same goes for Nadir. It was a freak with him. He doesn't miss training and works fantastically hard. Hopefully he'll be back next week.
"John Utaka has started training, so has Tommy Smith and so has Ricardo. They're the plusses.
"The others are coming along. Kevin Boateng has started running and is doing well regards his rehab.
"Hassan Yebda will start running today and is moving along. Papa sustained a knee injury. He'll start running today, so we have one or two making their way back."