Good news for Preston North End after Alan Browne injured on international duty

Preston midfielder Alan Browne
Preston midfielder Alan Browne

Preston have no worries about Alan Browne’s fitness after he picked up an injury while on international duty.

The midfielder suffered a minor calf strain training with the Republic of Ireland last month in Portugal.

Browne missed their two Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Denmark last week.

But it is understood that the injury was only a short-term one – enough to sideline him for a couple of weeks but no longer.

So while the international games came too soon for him, Browne should be fine to start pre-season training in the last week of June.

Browne had a couple of spells of injury last season so will be keen to hit the ground running this summer.

Early in the campaign, a calf injury forced him to miss two games, while a tweaked hamstring kept him out of the games against Aston Villa and Rotherham at the turn of the year.

After suffering damage to two ankle ligaments in the win at Middlesbrough in March, Browne was sidelined for two games and did not look 100% when he returned.

Arguably his best form came from January to March as North End put together a long unbeaten run.

The 24-year-old finished as PNE’s second highest scorer with 12 Championship goals.

Browne was not alone in having spells on the sidelines, with a number of team-mates nursing injuries.

Seven first-team regulars were not available for the last few weeks of the season due to injury, with Ben Pearson and Ryan Ledson’s suspensions adding to the problems.

Keeping the absences down to a more manageable number will be key during the season ahead, something Browne acknowledges. He told PNE’s official website: “If we want to go and do anything, we’ve got to keep our main players fit.

“Obviously we’ve got to try and keep players free from suspension.

“If we can keep everyone fit then there’s no reason why we can’t go on and progress from last year.”

Meanwhile, PNE’s visit to Fleetwood in pre-season has been brought forward a day.

The Highbury friendly was due to be played on Saturday, July 27.

However, on police advice the game will now be played the night before with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Blackpool entertain Blackburn at Bloomfiield Road in a friendly on the Saturday and that is the main reason behind the change.

The trip to Fleetwood will be North End’s last friendly of the pre-season.

They have announced five warm-up games to date, with two games at Deepdale to be confirmed soon.