PNE winger on way back

Chris Humphrey is back in training with the Preston North End squad as he strives to be fully fit for next season.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 25th April 2016, 2:49 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2016, 3:54 pm
Chris Humphrey is back doing non-contact training with the North 
End squad
Chris Humphrey is back doing non-contact training with the North End squad

The Jamaica international has been something of the forgotten man at Deepdale for much of the campaign.

He has not played since the beginning of October, having undergone surgery to repair a stress fracture of his shin.

But Humphrey has been taking his first steps towards full fitness by joining in sessions with the first-team squad.

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Provided there are no setbacks, he will be ready to start pre-season training in early July.

North End manager Simon Grayson said: “Chris has been joining in training with us.

“That is on a non-contact basis so we are still being very careful with him.

“He has been running for a while now and having him back with the lads on the pitch is a step forward.

“Chris won’t be anywhere near the team in the last two games, he is not ready yet.

“He has got another scan soon and will then meet with the surgeon to hopefully get the all-clear for full contact training.

“It is nice to see him back and it is big for Chris psychologically to be out there doing some work with us.

“When players have had long-term injuries, a lot of their rehab work is done alone in the gym.

“Being out running on the grass and kicking a ball again is a big step forward and hopefully he is not far off being able to do everything.”

It was discovered during the October international break that Humphrey had a stress fracture to the shin bone in his right leg.

A busy schedule last summer might have been the cause, rather than it being an impact injury. He only got a short break after last season’s promotion thanks to playing for Jamaica at the Gold Cup.

Humphrey returned from the competition during pre-season training and got straight down to work with the Lilywhites.

When the stress fracture was diagnosed, it was thought that a period of rest would be suffice for it to mend.

However, that did not do the trick and the 29-year-old had surgery in January.

That operation involved having a metal rod put into his leg to help the fracture heal.

Humphrey is keen to hit the ground running for pre-season training.

He will be in the final year of his contract next term and wants to show he is worth another deal.

Another of the long-term casualties, midfielder Liam Grimshaw, will be ready to start pre-season training too.

North End fans have yet to see him in a PNE shirt since January’s arrival from Manchester United.

An injury to the lining of his knee was discovered when he had a medical ahead of the transfer.

Preston decided to press ahead with the deal but took the longer-term view and insisted he had surgery to correct the problem.

Grimshaw had played with the injury when on loan at Motherwell in the first half of the season.

Said Grayson: “Liam is now making good progress but we are not rushing him back and he won’t play before the end of the season.

“He is running on the anti-gravity treadmill and things are moving along nicely.”