Alex Neil says Louis Moult has been so unfortunate to suffer a knee injury just as the striker was re-establishing himself in the Preston team.
Moult was having a scan on his left knee today to learn the extent of the damage which he suffered in the first half of the 3-2 defeat at Swansea.
A torn cruciate ligament is feared which would rule him out for many months.
However, until he has the scan the injury cannot be fully diagnosed.
North End manager Neil said: “It is a knee injury which is never great, particularly when Louis has really started to get going for us in the last couple of games.
“That is a big blow for him personally and for us as a team, he’s a great lad.
“It is not a contact injury, it is not a fitness injury, not a muscle injury.
“It was just running, he tried to take a touch and his knee crumbled underneath him and that was him done.”
Moult chased a through ball into the box in the 23rd minute.
He lifted his right leg to try and get a touch on the ball and all his weight went through his left leg causing it to buckle.
After being attended to on the pitch by the PNE physio and club doctor, Moult was carried off on a stretcher.
The 27-year-old posted a photo on Twitter yesterday which showed him with a brace on his leg.
Moult accompanied it with a message ‘Positive vibes only’.
After not being involved in the squad at Millwall on the opening day, he started the 3-0 win over Wigan and scored the second goal.
He led the attack again at the Liberty Stadium, with North End 1-0 ahead when the injury happened.
With David Nugent out of action with a calf injury, PNE are looking light to say the least up front. Moult’s former club Stoke are the visitors to Deepdale on Wednesday night and it looks a choice between Jayden Stockley and Sean Maguire to lead the attack.
Andre Green came off the bench to replace Moult at Swansea.
Saturday’s defeat was a missed opportunity from Preston to put more points on the board.
Joe Rafferty’s 11th minute shot from outside the box gave them the lead and they went on to control the first half.
But in the dying moments of first-half stoppage-time, Swansea equalised.
Three goals in six minutes shaped the outcome in the second half, the hosts taking a 2-1 lead before PNE levelled through Daniel Johnson from the penalty spot.
However, Swansea went back in front less than two minutes later and managed to hang on to their lead.
Rafferty’s goal was his first for PNE since January’s move from Rochdale.