PNE wait for Pearson

Preston North End are waiting to learn the full extent of Ben Pearson's ankle injury which saw him depart Friday night's derby with Burnley inside the opening 10 minutes.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 25th April 2016, 5:00 am
PNE midfielder Ben Pearson suffered an ankle injury in the defeat to Burnley
PNE midfielder Ben Pearson suffered an ankle injury in the defeat to Burnley

The midfielder was hurt in a frantic opening to the game and hobbled off to be replaced by Daniel Johnson.

He is certainly a doubt at this stage for Saturday’s visit to Reading.

Lilywhites manager Simon Grayson said: “Ben rolled his ankle, and that happening so early in the game wasn’t ideal.

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“He had a protective boot on after the game and we will assess him this week once the swelling has gone down.

“We’ve had a few injuries early in games recently which limits your choice of substitutions later in the game.

“Hopefully it is nothing too serious for Ben and we can have him back with us soon.”

The ideal replacement for Pearson from the bench would have been John Welsh.

However, Welsh missed the game having suffered a calf strain in training.

Without Pearson and Welsh, North End did not have the midfield combativeness to compete with Burnley’s Joey Barton and Dean Marney.

Said Grayson: “John would have had the chance to come on in Friday’s game – it would have been his type of match.

“We had contemplated starting him too but his injury prevented that.

“John picked up a calf strain when we trained on Wednesday and he wasn’t right in time.”

Absent from the derby were Anders Lindegaard, Marnick Vermijl and Eoin Doyle. Lindegaard and Vermijl were injured in last week’s draw at Birmingham, while striker Doyle was absent due to a family issue.

“Marnick had a fitness test on the injury he got to the top of his foot,” said Grayson.

“It was the striking of a ball that he was struggling with, so he didn’t quite make it.

“Anders has a shoulder injury and we will have to see where we are with him before the Reading game.”

On Saturday, PNE slipped back a place to 11th after Brentford leapfrogged them, thanks to a 4-1 win at MK Dons – a result which relegated Karl Robinson’s men.

Leeds drew level on points with them after a 2-2 draw at Hull but North End have a better goal difference.

It is Leeds who are Preston’s last-day opponents on May 7, with this weekend’s hosts Reading in 15th place.

Reading drew 1-1 at Queens Park Rangers, ending a run of four games without a win.