Buchanan hopes to recover for PNE

David Buchanan was injured in PNE's win against Crawley
David Buchanan was injured in PNE's win against Crawley
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Preston North End were hoping to have David Buchanan back in training today ahead of the weekend visit to Coventry.

The left-back was forced out of last week’s win over Crawley at half-time with a deadleg.

Buchanan took a blow on the back of his leg when a Crawley player fell on him in a collision.

He was replaced for the second half by Scott Laird, who is on stand-by for Saturday should Buchanan not recover in time.

Laird sharpened his fitness with a run-out in Tuesday’s training-ground game against Rochdale, which PNE won 1-0 through a Jack Ryan goal.

The battle for the left-back shirt this season had been a three-way one, involving Laird, Buchanan and Ben Davies.

That was reduced to two at the end of last week when Davies joined Tranmere on a month’s youth loan.

While Davies had started the campaign as first choice, the teenager slipped down the pecking order in the wake of a difficult afternoon marking Sheffield United’s Jamal Campbell-Ryce last month.

Buchanan has got the nod to start for the last four matches and will be keen to prove his fitness ahead of the Ricoh Arena clash.

Others to feature in the midweek friendly against Rochdale included Jack King, Thorsten Stuckmann, Scott Wiseman, Paul Huntington and new boy Callum Robinson.

There was another run-out too for winger Kyel Reid as he brings his match fitness up to full speed.

Ryan’s goal, from Robinson’s through ball, added to the four he scored in a loan spell with Stockport before his recall to Deepdale last week. The 18-year-old striker was summoned back as extra cover in the wake of injuries to Jordan Hugill and Kevin Davies.

Hugill is beginning the long slog on the road to recovery after undergoing surgery last week to repair a fractured knee cartilage.

He could be out of action for up to six months but he is being backed by team-mate Joe Garner to return stronger – mentally and physically – for the experience.

Leading scorer Garner told the Evening Post: “You have to feel for Jordan because this is his first season here and he has been doing well for us.

“He works hard in training and in the games and we had linked up well when we played together – he set me up for my goal at Walsall.

“The operation went well from what he told me and now he has got to crack on with his rehabilitation. The shortest time he is going to be out for is four months but it could be a bit longer.

“Jordan will come back stronger for this. He is young and the work he’ll do in the gym every day will strengthen his physique.

“At the moment he will feel down and think everything is against him but he will come back from this.

“Being without Jordan and Kevin because of his cracked rib means we are a couple of bodies down and that is a big blow.

“We do have cover though. Callum Robinson has looked sharp since he came in from Villa and Andy Little will be back soon.”