Injury lift for Pompey charges
Portsmouth's hopes of ending their season on a high were boosted before their FA Cup semi-final with Spurs.
Last Updated: 07/04/10 2:05pm
Portsmouth's hopes of ending their nightmare season on a high were boosted ahead of their FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham on Sunday.
Pompey are staring relegation in the face in the Premier League after going into administration but the cup competition provides Avram Grant's team the chance to leave the division with a flourish.
Their hopes of upsetting Spurs have been severely hampered in recent weeks, though, with a host of first team regulars crowding the treatment table at Fratton Park.
But Grant could welcome back captain and goalkeeper David James for the test against Harry Redknapp's side, with Steve Finnan also in line to return.
Kevin Prince Boateng and Nadir Belhadj also returned to training on Tuesday, while Hassan Yebda and Hayden Mullins are in line to make the squad to bolster Grant's hopes of upsetting the UEFA Champions League chasers.
England goalkeeper James has been suffering with calf problem sustained in the recent league defeat to Spurs, although he told The News he was optimistic about his chances of playing.
"I am highly hopeful," said the 39-year-old. "I am geared up with things going according to plan so should be good.
"The calf is good. I did some training today and then training on Thursday and Friday to get ready for Sunday.
"There are a number of players who have come back who were off the list previously so we could have a pretty good squad out."
Grant still has concerns over the fitness of central defender Marc Wilson after the 22-year-old's recovery from a hamstring problem suffered a setback when he fell ill.
Fellow stoppers Hermann Hreidarsson and Tal Ben Haim are definitely out of the tie, although right-back Steve Finnan said he was in contention to come into the Pompey back four.
The 33-year-old said: "I want to train come the end of the week. I want to be out there if I can be. I had a niggle in my thigh which I felt at the end of last week, so I haven't been able to train since. Hopefully, I will be okay in a couple of days."
Papa Bouba Diop (knee) and Tommy Smith (broken nose) came through training unscathed and Finnan insisted his team mates must not gamble on their fitness if they are not ready to play.
"It's a game we all want to play in but it's important no-one plays and trains if we are not right," he added. "When this game's around the corner people will push themselves but if it's not right we won't play."