Battle-hardened Preston North End striker Kevin Davies will end 2013 minus some blood, and with a delicate nose, after taking a battering in the victory at Shrewsbury.
PNE boss Simon Grayson has revealed how he was close to having to substitute Davies just a few minutes into the Greenhous Meadow clash.
The 36-year-old got a bang in the face after a collision with a Shrewsbury defender.
He had to leave the pitch when the bleeding would not stop and needed treatment in the dressing for five minutes before being able to return to the action.
Grayson had Stuart Beavon ready to come on, before being able to stand the substitute down when Davies emerged from the tunnel ready to continue.
Davies played on until the 76th minute, when he was replaced by Iain Hume.
Within three minutes, Hume had put in the cross which saw Shrews right-back Ryan Woods turn the ball into his own net for PNE’s winner.
Grayson told the Evening Post: “It was touch and go with Kevin after he got that nasty knock in the face.
“We had one of those situations when the bleeding would just not stop.
“I think Kevin is at that stage of his career when he has broken his nose a few times.
“I’m not sure if his nose is broken this time but there was plenty of blood coming out.
“It just shows you how things changed during the course of a game by way of your substitutions.
“We had Stuart Beavon warmed-up and getting ready to come on in case Kevin could not continue.
“Later on we made other substitutions to affect the game and the last one was to bring on Iain Hume for Kevin.”
Despite the painful hooter, Davies will be available for tomorrow’s visit of Port Vale to Deepdale.
Grayson certainly has options when it comes to who plays up front.
It was Davies and Joe Garner at Shrewsbury after suspension had sidelined them against Carlisle on Boxing Day.
Hume gave a reminder of his undoubted talents in a lively substitute’s appearance.
Meanwhile, Grayson says he would not stand in the way of Nicky Wroe extending his loan stay at Shrewsbury.
The midfielder is on loan with the Shrews until January 25 but was not allowed to play against North End on Sunday.
Talks between the clubs are planned for the next couple of weeks, but at this stage Grayson sees no reason why an extension should not happen.
Said Grayson: “Nicky is enjoying it at Shrewsbury and we want to be fair to him.
“He would find it difficult to get back into our team at the moment, when you consider who we have available.
“We had the three lads who started in midfield on Sunday, then Keith Keane and others can play there.
“It would be unfair to bring him back and then not use him.
“I would not stand in his way if he wanted to stay at Shrewsbury. Nicky has been a good pro for Preston and he just wants to play football.”