PNE striker must wait for surgery

Stevie May
Stevie May
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Preston North End striker Stevie May is having to be patient as he waits to enter the next stage of his recovery from the severe knee injury he suffered two months ago.

He damaged ligaments in his right knee in the clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage on November 28.

The Scotsman is awaiting an operation and tweeted this week that the operation could yet involve a repair to three of the ligaments – highlighting how serious the injury is.

Surgery has been delayed to allow the swelling in his knee to reduce and for some of the damage to heal naturally.

Then the main damage will be repaired surgically.

May posted on his Twitter account on Monday: “Seen specialist again. Operation is in four weeks, could still be a one, two or three ligament operations depending on healing from now to then.”

Since suffering the injury, he has had the knee in a brace and is walking with the help of crutches.

The brace is designed to help the posterior cruciate ligament heal naturally before surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament.

May suffered the injury in stoppage-time of the 1-1 draw with the Cottagers.

He had come on as a late substitute and was hurt by a tackle from Fulham defender Richard Stearman as he shaped to get a shot away.

It was known straight away that the injury was a serious one, with other players quickly summoning the physio.

After the game, PNE boss Simon Grayson described it as a ‘severe’ injury.

Giving an update late last week, Grayson said: “Stevie has got a brace on his knee, he’s walking around and doing gym work.

“He’s not had the operation to mend his cruciate ligament yet because they have to allow the swelling to go down.”

The injury ended May’s season before it had really got going.

He signed for North End on September 1 from Sheffield Wednesday.

By the time of the injury, the ex-St Johnstone front man had started five games and come off the bench three times.

May was still awaiting his first goal in Preston colours.

North End’s pursuit of the 23-year-old was a long one.

They tried to sign him from St Johnstone in two different transfer windows before he got his move to English football by joining Wednesday in August 2014.

After a season there in which he netted seven goals, Preston made their move again and signed him before the close of the summer window.

May’s injury, coupled with the return of Will Keane to Manchester United and the absence of Jermaine Beckford, has left North End a bit short of options up front.

Beckford is edging closer to a return to training following knee surgery in September.

Preston are looking to strengthen the forward line before Monday night’s deadline.

Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw has been linked with them during the window, as has Bolton winger Liam Feeney.

Bradshaw has scored 14 goals for the Saddlers this season as they push for promotion.

A number of Championship clubs have been linked with him but Walsall have insisted no bids have come in for the 23-year-old.