Liam Grimshaw is looking forward to kicking his Preston career into life after surgery put it on hold for six months.
While pre-season training is traditionally a time of year which many players dread, the 21-year-old has relished doing the hard work at Springfields over the last couple of days.
Grimshaw signed for PNE from Manchester United in January but had to almost immediately have an operation on his knee.
The injury was highlighted during the medical he had prior to signing.
North End pressed on with the deal but sent the midfielder for surgery, deciding it was worth the wait in order to get him fully fit.
Grimshaw told the Evening Post: “I was buzzing when I came in for the start of training on Thursday.
“I had been doing quite a lot of work in the summer to get back into it because obviously I haven’t trained or played for six months.
“It is great to be back easing my way in and hopefully kicking on from here.
“The knee feels fine, I’m managing it well and I’ve got some time to make up.
“Six months is a long time without playing football – my last game was for Motherwell in January when I was on loan with them.
“I’m not saying you take things granted when you are fit and playing, but being out for a while makes you relish it even more.
“It was not meant to be the summer when I got back, however things just took a little bit longer than expected.
“I could have rushed it so I was training again towards the back end of last season.
“But I think we made the right decision to leave it a bit longer to settle down.”
Grimshaw, who hails from East Lancashire, brings with him an ability to play in a number of positions.
After last season’s false start to life at Deepdale, he would be willing to give it a go in any area of the pitch in order to make up for lost time.
“I will play anywhere, in midfield and all the way across the back line – right-side preferably,” said Grimshaw.
“Midfield is where I prefer to play but it doesn’t bother me where I’m asked to play, as long as I’m involved.
“I would have a go in nets if I had to!
“After Preston showed the faith they did in me in January, I just want to get out there and start playing.”
Grimshaw joined United as a youngster, deciding the time was right at the start of the year to fly the Old Trafford nest.
A loan spell in Scotland with Motherwell in the first half of last season whetted his appetite for first-team football.
Said Grimshaw: “Being at United was great but you get to a point where you have to be realistic about your chances, you don’t want to be playing in the reserves all the time.
“Motherwell was a brilliant experience, it benefited me playing at a good competitive standard.
“Now I’m focused on doing well for Preston and being a big part of things here.”