Stevie May will be given every opportunity to re-establish himself in the Preston squad following his recovery from a career-threatening injury.
The Scotsman made his first start in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Rotherham since damaging knee ligaments 17 months ago.
He scored the equaliser with a 20-yard finish to put himself in the frame to play in the season’s finale at Wolves on Sunday lunchtime.
May was only eight games into his PNE career when he was injured in a match against Fulham in November 2015.
He tore three ligaments in his right knee, one of which had to heal naturally before the other two were repaired in surgery.
After three appearances as a substitute in February and early March, the 22-year-old has had to be patient in his wait for a start.
North End manager Simon Grayson said: “People might talk about Stevie needing a fresh start elsewhere but that won’t be the case.
“Stevie will come back in pre-season like everyone else and be given the best possible opportunity to be in and around the squad next season.
“Next season was always going to be the important one for him.
“This season was a case of him playing catch-up in terms of doing a mini pre-season to get his sharpness.
“This time he will get a full pre-season with the rest of the lads, a good six weeks under his belt and plenty of games.”
May is looking forward to next season and hopefully putting the injury firmly into the past.
But he does not regard this season as a write-off, instead seeing it as being part of his road to recovery.
Said May: “This season has been really important, despite me only playing one or two games.
“It has been as important as any to get back to where I want to be.
“There’s a lot of hard work to come in pre-season and hopefully I can have more moments like the one I had at the weekend.
“With injuries you do your own mini pre-season, especially coming back from one like I’ve had.
“You do all the fitness work as if it was a pre-season, halfway through the season.
“The next thing for me is to enjoy my summer at the start because I think I need that after a lot of hard work.
“Then with a proper pre-season behind me I’ll be ready to go.
“About Christmas time I felt I was ready to play.
“I was eager to play here, if not go on loan, which didn’t come about.
“There were a few clubs in for me – I just wanted to get some games.
“But it’s nice to come the end of the season to get a start and a bit of game-time.
“We play on Sunday and hopefully I’ll be involved again.
“Then there’s a summer of hard work and hopefully I can come back fit and ready to go with a hard pre-season under my belt.
“Hopefully we can finish with a good result at Wolves.”