It was the last thing Clark Robertson wanted after having to sit out so much of last season.
Pompey’s skipper injured his foot in a friendly against Coventry a week before the start of the new League One campaign.
But the centre-back returned to lead the Blues out in their Carabao Cup second round tie at Newport.
And Robertson was pleased to get through almost 70 minutes before a planned swap with Sean Raggett.
He said: “It was nice to get back out on the pitch with the boys after a few weeks out and try to find my rhythm again.
“The foot is feeling fine and it was always going to be a case of playing between 60 and 70 minutes out there.
“It was frustrating to get through pre-season and then just feel something in the friendly against Coventry.
"We’ve got strength in depth all over the pitch and I know I’ve got a fight on my hands to get back in the team, but I’m more than up for that."
“My base fitness was always there, though, because I hadn’t missed a session, so I feel I can get back up to speed quickly.
“We’ve got strength in depth all over the pitch and I know I’ve got a fight on my hands to get back in the team, but I’m more than up for that.”
Unfortunately, Robertson’s return was not a winning one, with Newport twice battling from behind before securing their spot in round three.
The defender said: “As a team I didn’t feel like we were really at the races, especially in the second half. We fell below the standards we’d set in the first few weeks of the season.
“The first 30 minutes or so were really frantic and we started to get some more control after what had been more like a basketball game.
“But I don’t think we deserved to go through to the next round and that Newport were the better side out there.
“So we need to get back to basics when we return to league action at the weekend and try to put things right.
“We have to be more clinical and also be stronger at the back. We can’t get ahead of ourselves after a good start to the season because there’s a lot of football to go.”