by Josh Bell
George Thorne has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury.
The midfielder had started the last 10 matches, but suffered an ankle injury in Saturday's 5-1 defeat to Burnley and left Fratton Park on crutches.
Blues boss Michael Appleton confirmed that Thorne’s injury was worse than initially feared and that he will return to parent club West Brom for rehabilitation.
Appleton said: “Unfortunately I think his season over.
“He took a bit of a knock on his ankle and has done one of his joints and he will need to see a specialist at some point regarding whether or not he will need surgery.
“I don’t think it is a long-term injury but the fact is we have only got a few weeks left of the season, which means there will be no chance of him playing for the remainder of the campaign.
“I think from his point of view he needs to make sure he gets himself sorted out now to find out whether or not he does need a small operation on the ankle.
“If he does, obviously he has a little bit of a summer break earlier than the rest of us and I am sure he will be desperate to re-charge his batteries ready for pre-season.”
Appleton paid tribute to the England Under-19 international, who has excelled in two loan spells since arriving at Pompey, making 14 appearances.
“In the last three or four games he has been outstanding and his screening skills in front of the back four has been very good,” said Appleton, who coached Thorne as assistant to Roy Hodgson at West Brom.
“He has a bright future ahead of him. I have said all along that West Brom have got a fantastic player there – and they will be aware of that now.
“All I can say is good luck to him and obviously I will stay in touch. If there is anything I can do for him then I will.
“You never know, maybe somewhere along the line he may be able to come back and help us at some point."