Ryan Lowe provided an update on the fitness of a quartet of Preston North End players ahead of the visit of AFC Bournemouth.
Greg Cunningham, Sean Maguire and Tom Barkhuizen have all been missing in recent weeks and are at different stages of their respective recoveries, whereas Patrick Bauer was sidelined for last weekend’s game against Coventry City.
Speaking to iFollow PNE, Ryan said: “Seani’s back training with us, but it will be probably be a bit too soon for him. He probably needs a game next week against Liverpool in the Senior Cup; he can get some minutes in that.
“Greg’s not too far away. Patrick we’re monitoring on a daily basis, he’ll probably be missing Saturday, and Barkhuizen is a little bit longer.
“The recovery time on his calf has probably not been as kind as he’d like. He probably had a little bit of a setback.
“It’ll probably be after the international break that I’m sure we’ll have all of them back. We’ll probably have Greg back sooner and Patrick, and then it’ll be Barky.
“But it’ll be nice when the treatment room’s empty because I think it’s tough when the lads are in there. We want as big of a squad as we can possibly have to choose from, and the quicker they get back fit the better.”
One man who is back from injury is Cardiff City loanee Josh Murphy, who played 60 minutes in Tuesday’s Central League draw against Fleetwood Town.
The 26-year-old had been out for over four months with an ankle ligament injury firstly and then a calf issue, but he could make his return this weekend.
“He travelled with us against Coventry and was there as the spare man,” added Ryan. “But obviously we need to get some minutes into him because we felt he hadn’t had any.
“That game [in the Central League] was always penned in for Josh and I thought he was fantastic. He could have had a couple of goals.
“He needs that little bit more sharpness but he’s come through it fine which is the most important thing.
“He had a rest and recovery day yesterday. He’ll train with the group today and tomorrow, and hopefully he can be involved on Saturday.”
North End are at Deepdale this weekend as they host AFC Bournemouth, who currently sit second in the table looking to seal a return to the Premier League.
They arrive in PR1 on the back of four consecutive victories in the league and are in strong shape after an influx of players during the January transfer window.
Ryan said: “We’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a tough encounter, as I said before. Bournemouth are flying high and play some good football, and they’re well coached.
“They’ve got some fantastic talents as we well know, but we’ve got to make sure we stamp our own authority down on games.
“This is the last home game for a while and then loads on the bounce away from home, so we want to make sure that we perform to the best of our ability, and the lads have been performing to the best of their ability.
“We haven’t had that little stroke of luck that we probably needed along the way, but we’ve got to keep pushing on.
“We’ve got to keep working hard, we’ve got to keep doing the right things, and if we do that then results will come your way which has been proven since we’ve been through the door.
“Saturday will be no different. We’ll be planning as normal and we’ll get a game plan together for the lads to take to fruition.”
Watch the manager's full interview on iFollow PNE or by clicking play at the top of the page.