Preston right-back Darnell Fisher’s powers of recovery should see him fully fit in time for the start of the season.
Fisher played half-an-hour of Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Accrington at Leyland, just a fortnight after having surgery to repair a hernia.
North End boss Alex Neil revealed Fisher had been keen to return even sooner.
Neil told the Lancashire Post: “I think with modern medical science people heal pretty quickly, especially from hernia surgery.
“We had to hold Darnell back because he wanted to be involved quicker than this.
“Against Accrington we got him 30 minutes and we will give him more minutes this weekend in one of the two games we’ve got.
“It’s good to see him back. The hernia was something which was identified early and we got him in for it be dealt with before it become too much of a problem.”
The Accrington game was Fisher’s first run-out of the pre-season programme.
He had got the first week or so of training done but then started to get discomfort in the lower stomach area.
When the squad went to Fota Island for a training camp, Fisher stayed behind to have the operation.
There was a first game of pre-season too for midfielder Brad Potts against Accrington.
Potts had been troubled by discomfort in his knee, the one which he had cartilage surgery on in April.
A visit to see the specialist and an injection into the knee to calm it down seems to have done the trick.
The 24-year-old played an hour on Tuesday night and will get a further chance to sharpen his fitness against either Fleetwood on Friday or Newcastle on Saturday.
From a personal point of view, Potts would favour the second game, with Newcastle being the club where he started his career.
Said Neil: “It was good to see Pottsy back and he will get more minutes at the weekend.
“It’s just nice to have people available ahead of the season.”
Jayden Stockley missed the Accrington game with a tight calf muscle – he was due to play having been an unused sub against Southampton.
The big striker should be okay for one of the weekend games and it remains to be seen if David Nugent can join him in returning to action.
Nugent has stepped up his training programme this week as he returns from surgery on his knee over the summer.
Neil said: “We will have a look at Nuge as the week goes on, if he is ready we’ll get him some minutes at the weekend.
“If not, we will wait until the following week and take it from there.
“He’s been training and the medical lads will give him the go-ahead when they think he is ready.”