Preston North End’s German centre half Patrick Bauer is hoping to be able to join in pre-season with his team-mates.
The Lilywhites’ No.5 damaged his Achilles tendon after scoring the winner against AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium back at the beginning of December.
A week later he went under the knife to repair the rupture and at the end of last week, four months later, he made his first run outside on the grass, greeted with applause from his team-mates.
He sat down and spoke to iFollow PNE and said he target now was to be in full training come the July re-start: “I am really glad [to be back running],” he said. “It has been a long time since 1st December when I ruptured my Achilles tendon, but it was a nice feeling to be back running on the grass and hopefully I can be back soon.
“After the surgery, the surgeon said he was very pleased with the operation and my rehab has been good so far. I am really pleased with the progress and I think the physios are as well.
“It is normally a six to nine months injury and my goal is to be back for pre-season and I think I am on track, but it could be both longer and shorter.”
The former Charlton Athletic man admits it has been even harder to be injured in the last few weeks, as he has been unable to do anything about the difficult results on the pitch.
“It is very hard to be injured,” he continued. “You have loads of very lonely days; it is good to be with the boys on the pitch, but it is part of football. The last weeks were even tougher to see the boys not getting many good results – it is really hard to watch and not to be able to help.
“It is difficult because a lot of the days we are in the gym on our own and the boys are out on the pitch. After training and after games we have got small chats with the players, but it is hard to be a consistent part of the team.
“We have a lot of players in our squad and we are all part of the big Preston North End family. We are all looking to pull together and have a successful end to the season.”
So, what now for Pat, is he setting small targets, or just taking it day by day? “I take each day at a time. The aim is to be fully fit when the boys start pre-season and until then I will keep working very hard on my rehab,” he added.
Join Pat in watching Friday’s full game live and exclusively on iFollow PNE this Good Friday, with former North End defender Michael Jackson alongside Jonathan Breeze for the first game under interim head coach Frankie McAvoy – on air from 2.30pm; click here now to sign up for a match pass for just £10.