After making a swift recovery from a knee operation earlier this year, the hard work has continued throughout the summer for Ryan Ledson.
The midfielder looked set to miss the remainder of the 2021/22 campaign when the decision was made in March to undergo a procedure to clear up a recurring issue.
However, due to the success of the operation and the speed of his rehabilitation, the Liverpudlian was able to make a return to action on the final day of the 2021/22 season.
Ryan told iFollow PNE: “I just didn’t feel myself when I was training or playing, so to get the operation which has obviously been a successful one and to get back for the last game of the season was brilliant.
“Initially we thought the season was going to be over, but to get the last ten minutes or so in the last game was a plus for me.
“You know what I’m like, I love being out there so towards the end of the season I was trying my best to get back – without pushing it too much – but it felt right and I went back to the specialist and got the all clear to go ahead.”
Since that 4-1 victory over Middlesbrough at the beginning of May, Ryan has enjoyed some time away from the UK.
As some supporters will have spotted on social media, the 24-year-old has recently been out in Dubai on holiday, while also training in the heat alongside teammate Brad Potts and fellow professional footballers.
Ryan said: “I think you’ve got to come back with a little bit of fitness. Obviously pre-season is to get fit, but we were out there and we did a few sessions.
“To be fair, the lads over there were brilliant. There’s a fella over there who’s a North End fan and we basically got in touch with him and he put a few sessions on.
“There’s lads [playing in] the Championship, League One and Scotland over there so it was good quality sessions.”
Back in England, he’s now using the club’s facilities to keep himself ticking over before returning for pre-season training on Monday 27th June.
With work ongoing to the pitches at Euxton, Ryan was down at Springfields on Wednesday morning - alongside teammate Ben Whiteman - training with sports science assistant Luke Hemmings.
Ryan added: “It’s just better to do a session with the lads and the fitness coach than going on your own to a field somewhere like by mine, so it’s better and these can look after you properly and condition you properly.
“It’s going to be a different season and we’re going to need a big squad, a good squad to compete.
“There’s definitely going to be a lot of Saturday/Tuesdays up until Christmas with not as many international breaks so it’s going to be tough like it always is, but I feel after the pre-season we’re going to have, we’re going to be ready.
“It gives him [Ryan Lowe] four weeks on the training pitch to get what he wants in the building and to get that into the new lads who are going to sign.
“Obviously he’s had a positive impact since he’s come in so hopefully he can have a first full season and we can be right up there.”
You can watch Ryan's full interview for free by clicking play on the video above.