Preston North End assessing of fitness of Billy Bodin and Andrew Hughes ahead of playing Barnsley at Deepdale

Billy Bodin has missed Preston's last four matches with a calf strain
Billy Bodin has missed Preston's last four matches with a calf strain

Preston North End manager Alex Neil will assess the fitness of Billy Bodin and Andrew Hughes ahead of Saturday's game against Barnsley at Deepdale.

Neil was hoping to have the pair back in training on Thursday morning.

Preston left-back Andrew Hughes in action against Birmingham in September

Preston left-back Andrew Hughes in action against Birmingham in September

Bodin has missed the last four games with a calf strain and Hughes the last three because of a hip flexor injury.

Prior to that, Hughes had returned to play in the 1-0 win at Birmingham on September 21 having had six weeks out because of a hamstring strain.

At his pre-match conference at Springfields on Thursday morning, Neil said: "I would imagine both will be out working on the grass this morning.

"As I said the other day, if they don't make this game they will definitely be fit for the next one unless something happens in between.

"But certainly with the injuries they have had, they are not major by any means.

"We will cast an eye over them and see how they go."

Hughes played the first two Championship games of the season before injuring his hamstring in stoppage-time of the 3-0 win over Wigan on August 10.

The left-back faced Birmingham at St Andrew's a fortnight ago, playing the full 90 minutes. But he got the hip flexor injury in that game.

Neil said: "Last season Hughesy was one of our most consistent performers, we have missed that consistency and his height.

"Having said that Joe Rafferty has been very good for us this season."

Darnell Fisher will miss the Barnsley game through a one-match suspension after totting-up five yellow cards.

That leaves a hole to fill at right-back, one option to move Rafferty over from the left if Hughes is fit.

Alan Browne has also played as a stand-in right-back this season.