Tyias Browning is set to make a welcome return to Preston’s injury-hit defence in time for the visit to Newcastle.
The Everton loan man has missed the last two months with a knee injury but has been back with PNE since the weekend.
With Tom Clarke and Greg Cunningham ruled out for the season – in Clarke’s case well into next term – being able to call on Browning again is a real bonus for Simon Grayson.
Browning was injured in a training session in February and went back to Everton to do his rehab work.
He was back training with PNE over the Easter weekend and also trained after the Norwich defeat at Deepdale with the players who had not started that game.
Grayson said: “Tyias is back with us, which is good.
“We are going to try and organise an 11-a-side game for later in the week and if he comes through that, I expect him to be back at Newcastle on Monday night.”
Browning joined North End on January 30, seeing it as a chance to play regular football after a long-term injury.
He played five games at right-back but operates at centre-half too.
Grayson’s options at the back are limited by the absences of Clarke and Cunningham, so too Alex Baptiste (above) who is suspended.
Baptiste serves the last of a three-game ban for his red card at Leeds when North End go to St James’ Park.
In both Easter games, PNE started with a flat back four before switching to three at the back in the second half.
Browning could slot in at right-back in place of Marnick Vermijl, who has looked off the pace since coming back from hernia surgery.
The 22-year-old is also an option in the middle should Grayson go with a 3-5-2.
There is a chance that PNE will look to bring Browning back on loan next season.
He signed a new contract at Everton prior to being loaned out to Preston.