Jermaine Beckford is not putting an exact timescale on his return from knee surgery but is determined to be back ‘sooner rather than later’.
The Preston North End striker went under the knife last month to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee, an injury initially suffered in pre-season.
Beckford’s absence will be one measured in months rather than weeks, as he is still getting about with the aid of a crutch.
However, his rehabilitation is well under way and he has a positive outlook about the work ahead of him.
Beckford said: “I’m doing well, my rehab is stepping up.
“I’m making progress, it is slow progress, but it’s progress all the same – that is all I can ask for.
“During my career I’ve been extremely fortunate not to have had many bad injuries.
“An injury is something you cannot do anything about and I’m not the type of person to let it get me down.
“I certainly won’t let this get me down. I’m around the place all the time trying to be a positive influence.
“The injury was a bit worse than first anticipated, but what can you do?
“I’m not setting myself a specific target in terms of being back, I’m taking each day as it comes.
“That is why you will always see me with a smile on my face.
“But my return will be sooner rather than later.
“At the moment my rehab is all about building up the muscles again, getting used to all the movement which you take for granted – walking, changing direction.”
Microfracturing surgery was used to repair Beckford’s knee, a method where small holes are drilled into the cartilage.
The 31-year-old said: “I’ll have to take the surgeon’s word for what he did because I was out cold!
“But he did what he had to and I’m happy how things are going.”
Beckford and his Preston team-mates attended the opening of a new hub at the Legacy Rainbow House in Mawdesley yesterday.
The centre provides help for children with acquired brain injury, multiple disabilities and complex health needs.
Its new hub was completed with the help of a £110,000 donation from PNE owner Trevor Hemmings and his companies.
North End manager Simon Grayson and skipper Tom Clarke conducted the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The players have donated a large sum of money to buy a car, moped, three bikes and a Silvercross pram which will be the prizes in Rainbow House’s ‘Wheelie raffle’.
Meanwhile, PNE expect to be without Paddy McCarthy for several weeks but he is likely to be fit before the end of his 93-day loan from Crystal Palace.
Grayson said: “Paddy has a problem with his medial ligament, which means he is going to be out for the next few weeks. I would think we will have him back before the end of the 93 days which we initially signed him for.”