No rest for PNE winger

Chris Humphrey will train during the summer to make sure he is fully fit for next season

Chris Humphrey will train during the summer to make sure he is fully fit for next season

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Chris Humphrey wants to steal a march on his Preston North End team-mates ahead of the start of pre-season training.

The 28-year-old is staying in training during the summer as he bids to make up for lost time after being out injured for seven months.

He wants to be fully fit and sharp, ready for the PNE squad’s return to work on June 30.

“I’ve got two four-day holidays planned but apart from that, I’m in all summer,” Humphrey told the Evening Post.

“I’m going to do a day a week on the AlterG treadmill at Preston’s College and spend the other days at the training ground, working on what the fitness coach Tom Little wants me to do.

“It will be hard work and the aim is to try and have a little bit on the other lads when they all come back.

“I need that because I was out for a lot of the season and I want to make up for that.”

Humphrey’s last appearance for North End was at the start of October.

Soon after that, he was found to have a stress fracture of his right shin bone, an injury which eventually required him to have surgery.

The winger returned to the squad against Leeds on the last day of the season, when he was an unused substitute.

But just being back on the bench was a major boost.

Said Humphrey: “It was brilliant to be back the other week, it was a good crowd and a great atmosphere.

“After seven months out, it was nice to be back on the bench and feel part of it all again.

“I had only been given the go-ahead for full contact on the Thursday afternoon before the Leeds game.

“The fact that the gaffer had the faith in me that day gave me that extra determination to make sure I’m ready for the start of next season.

“After the Leeds game, the gaffer did say sorry for the fact I didn’t get on the pitch.

“But I told him he had made the right call, I was just happy to be involved with the lads, putting the shinpads on.

“This was the first long-term injury of my career and all the work I’m doing is to make sure I don’t pick up niggly injuries once I start playing again.

“The stress fracture was a freak injury, caused basically by wear and tear.

“It wasn’t a knock which caused it and I was probably carrying it for quite a while.

“I had pain in my shin but I didn’t realise it was a fracture.

“The specialist told me that it would have been there for quite a while, maybe going back to the previous season.

“Gradually it got worse and to the point where I couldn’t walk or run on it.”

The funeral of North End legend George Ross will be held at 11.15am on Friday, May 27, at St Anthony’s Church, Cadley Causeway, Fulwood, Preston.

It will be followed by committal at Preston Crematorium.

Ross passed away earlier this month, aged 73.