Fernandes targets debut against Bolton in three weeks

September 6, 2006

Manuel Fernandes has targeted Portsmouth's home clash against Bolton in three weeks for his Fratton Park debut.

The midfielder was signed on loan from Benfica with a view to a record £7 million move.

Fernandes, 20, is making rapid strides recovering from a groin injury which has twice blocked his permanent switch to Pompey.

But Fernandes has told Portsmouth's medical staff he feels better than he has for 18 months thanks to their expert care.

He is currently fit enough to train two or three times a week and Pompey physio Gary Sadler said: 'Hopefully, without any setbacks, he will be involved with the first team by the end of the month.'

Meanwhile, Portsmouth right-back Glen Johnson has returned to Chelsea - but only for treatment to his injured ankle.

He is also aiming to be fit for the home game against Bolton on September 25 despite initial fears of a fracture when the England international - on loan with Pompey for the season - pulled out of last week`s 4-0 win at Middlesbrough after being hurt in training 24 hours earlier.

He actually suffered ligament damage and bone bruising but is now off crutches and out of the air-cast which was protecting his left ankle.

Portsmouth striker Andrew Cole, who has not played for six months after two operations on an ankle with previous club Manchester City, is unlikely to be ready for Saturday's home game with Wigan. He is still doing basic fitness work in training.