Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd will be hoping 2022 brings better fortunes for him on the injury front

Preston North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd will be aiming to have a pain-free 2022 after a tough time this year.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 30th December 2021, 9:22 am

A knee injury and the form of Daniel Iversen limited Rudd to only five starts in the PNE first-team in 2021.

He’s currently recovering from a third round of surgery to get his knee sorted out, the legacy of a training ground injury nearly a year ago.

A few days after playing in the January 2 clash against Nottingham Forest, Rudd suffered a freak injury in a training session.

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Declan Rudd

He tore knee cartilage which then lodged behind the kneecap.

That prompted the move for Daniel Iversen who has now been PNE’s first-choice goalkeeper for the best part of 12 months.

Rudd was back after last January’s surgery in time to do pre-season and he featured in some of the friendlies.

With Iversen only coming back on loan from Leicester on the eve of the campaign, it was Rudd who started the season’s opener against Hull City.

But in keeping with the bad luck he’d had, the 30-year-old got a blow to the head early on and was substituted under concussion protocol.

Iversen has worn the gloves in Championship action since, with Rudd featuring in three Carabao Cup games.

During the warm-up ahead of November’s 2-1 victory at Bournemouth, Rudd felt discomfort in the knee he’d injured in January.

He underwent clean-up surgery soon after and had hoped to be back quite soon.

But before Christmas, he had a third operation which is hoped will cure the injury.

Rudd will be assessed by the surgeon next week to see how things are progressing.

In his absence, Mathew Hudson has been Iversen’s back-up on the bench.

Connor Ripley is another keeper on the books but isn’t in the 25-man squad and was recently on an emergency loan at Salford City.

After the disruption to the Christmas schedule, North End were due to start trying to get back on track today in the build-up to Monday’s visit to Stoke City.

The Euxton training ground has been shut since last Thursday after a number of positive Covid tests forced the postponement of the Boxing Day game against Sheffield United.

Since then, the visit to West Bromwich Albion which was scheduled for tonight, was also postponed.

A phased return to training for some of those who tested positive who have now finished isolating, was due to start today.

North End face Stoke at the bet365 Stadium on Monday afternoon and will be desperate to get back on the pitch, with their last game being on December 11.

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