Stefanovic set for early return

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Portsmouth defender Dejan Stefanovic is set to return to action before the end of the month, six weeks ahead of schedule.

Stefanovic injured his ankle during the 1-1 draw with Bolton at the start of February and was told it was unlikely he would play again this season after undergoing surgery on the problem.

However, the club's captain is determined to help Portsmouth survive the drop and believes he will be ready to play against Arsenal at the end of the month.

"I have been working very hard and my ankle is better than expected," he said.

"My specialist seemed to think I would be out for three months but I will be back before then.

"I want to play every single game and keep Pompey in the Premiership."

Meanwhile, the club will not be able to call upon the services of Richard Hughes until the closing stages of the season after he fractured his right shoulder in Portsmouth's defeat at Chelsea.