Preston North End striker Jermaine Beckford has made another step forward in his recovery from knee surgery.
PNE’s Wembley hat-trick hero of last May has played only twice this season as a substitute after knee surgery.
The nature of Beckford’s injury – and the type of repair needed – has meant his recovery has not been rushed.
His cartilage damage was fixed using microfracture surgery – small holes are drilled in the bone near to the damaged area, which helps to build new cartilage.
His experience has been missed this season but he has now taken another step closer to returning to the first-team squad.
“Jermaine is not back in full training yet but he has done a little bit of ball-work with the squad,” said Deepdale boss Simon Grayson.
“It is at the lower end of the spectrum but he is moving along nicely and we are really encouraged by that.”