Louis Moult back in the Preston North End squad on merit after his long lay-off says Frankie McAvoy

Frankie McAvoy was delighted to welcome Louis Moult back into the Preston North End squad for Easter Monday’s win over Swansea.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 1:01 pm

Moult was an unused substitute in South Wales but it was his first involvement in a matchday squad for more than 19 months.

The irony was that the striker’s return came at the same ground when his injury agony started.

Moult ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and damaged other parts of the knee joint at the Liberty Stadium in August 2019.

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Three operations later and more hours in the gym than he would care to recall, he was back involved in the squad.

PNE interim head coach McAvoy says Moult’s call into the squad was on merit.

The 28-year-old had been back in full contact training for a month and was needed as forward cover on the bench.

McAvoy said: “It is amazing how things happen in football.

Louis Moult in the warm-up before Preston North End's win at Swansea on Easter Monday

“Louis has worked very hard to come into the fray and it was great to have him with us in the squad.

“I’d spoken at length with our medical team because Sean Maguire had picked up a calf niggle and we didn’t want to take a chance with that.

“I thought about Louis coming in and being involved, and the medical people were fine with it.

“Louis had trained well and it was good to have him back.

Louis Moult is treated on the pitch after damaging his knee against Swansea in August 2019

“He went away from Swansea with a smile on his face rather than the pain of the last time he was there.”

It was a big step forward for Moult to be on the bench and an even bigger stride will be made when he gets chance to set foot on the pitch.

Getting some action will help his match fitness and assist him going into next season, whatever his future holds.

Moult’s contract at PNE ends this summer so he will want to get some game time before then.

Alongside Moult on the bench on Monday was Lewis Coulton.

The second-year scholar had twice previously been an unused sub, against Blackburn and Watford in November.

Coulton, 18, was on the bench to offer defensive cover, Paul Huntington the only other defender on the bench.

Joe Rafferty has missed the last two games, with Maguire, Daniel Johnson and Anthony Gordon adding their names to the injury list following the 1-1 draw with Norwich City on Good Friday.

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