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Could Sean Maguire return against Wigan? Alex Neil gives an update on the Preston North End striker's fitness

Alex Neil has not ruled out Sean Maguire being part of the Preston North End squad to face Wigan on Saturday.

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Preston North End striker Sean Maguire has not played since pre-season

Preston North End striker Sean Maguire has not played since pre-season

The striker has not featured for the Lilywhites this season after limping out of the final pre-season friendly against Oldham - a scan later revealing damage to a hamstring tendon.

Maguire is closing in on a return to action and was a surprise inclusion in the provisional Republic of Ireland squad named on Thursday morning for the games against Denmark and Wales.

"Sean Maguire has been training," said Neil at Thursday morning's pre-match press conference.

"He trained with the kids as well to top him up and we'll have a look at Sean over the next two days as to whether we involve him on Saturday or not.

"I can't afford for him to break down again, that's my biggest fear for us.

"We all know how important he was for us last year, so to lose him, Billy Bodin and now Josh Harrop has been a major blow for us."

A player still some way from a return is Calum Woods.

The right back injured his hamstring in the League Cup win over Morecambe back in August and has now picked up a calf problem in training.

"Calum was coming back from his hamstring injury and had done one session after having done basically two weeks of pre-season style training with the physios," said Neil.

"But then he hurt his calf so will be a bit longer."