PNE ace on the mend

Chris Humphrey is out of action with a stress fracture
Chris Humphrey is out of action with a stress fracture
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Chris Humphrey is hoping that his absence from Preston North End’s squad only has a month to go.

The winger has not played since the start of October because of a stress fracture of his shin bone.

Humphrey goes back to see a specialist in a month’s time and hopes that the period of rest which was prescribed has seen the bone heal.

In the meantime, the 28-year-old is being put through a fitness programme to ensure he does not lose too much of his sharpness and speed.

He traces the problem back to the summer when playing for Jamaica, although it was not necessarily an impact injury.

Humphrey told the Evening Post: “I think I got it around the time I was at the Gold Cup.

“My shin was hurting but I didn’t worry too much about it.

“It was not a case of anyone having kicked me there, not that I can remember anyway.

“I carried on playing for the last few months and it started hurting a lot.

“During games I found that it would hurt for about 40 minutes and then the pain would go.

“I think my body got into a phase where it knew that if it got through that first 40 minutes, it would be all right.

“Last month the pain started to get really bad so I got sent for an X‑ray which showed there was a stress fracture.

“The surgeon said that if someone had kicked me where the crack in the bone was, then it would have broken.

“I see the surgeon again in a month’s time and I’ll take things from there.

“The surgeon said last time that if I rest it, then it should hopefully mend.”

While there has been a rest from the football pitch for Humphrey, he is being kept busy in the gym.

He said: “I’m using the AlterG treadmill at UCLan which allows me to run with only 60% of my bodyweight.

“It’s an anti-gravity thing so your full weight is not going through your legs.

“One of our physios Lewis Hiney, is working really hard with me.

“I’m enjoying the work which he plans for me – it is hard work but I don’t expect anything less.

“It is good to be doing some leg weights because they have been something I didn’t get a lot of chance to do because of being away in the summer and then all the games last season.

“In terms of work, I can do a lot of things apart from being out there on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, several of the PNE squad were set to get a run-out in a friendly against Everton at the Toffees’ Finch Farm training ground today.

North End manager Simon Grayson said: “Will Keane, Jordan Hugill, Stevie May, Neil Kilkenny, JohnWelsh, Josh Brownhill, Josh Heaton, Ben Davies and Clive Smith will be among those to get some game-time.

“I’m led to believe Everton are going to have quite a strong side because they have players coming back from injury.”