Preston North End defender Matthew Olosunde edging closer to return to first-team training

Frankie McAvoy doesn’t think it will be too long before he is able to include summer arrival Matthew Olosunde in first-team training.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 12:30 pm

The defender has been on the sidelines since mid-July after picking up an injury in the Achilles tendon/ankle area.

That came in the 1-1 draw at St Johnstone during the club’s pre-season visit to Scotland.

Olosunde was subbed at half-time in the friendly and that 45 minutes is his only slice of action in a PNE shirt to date.

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Matthew Olosunde when he signed for Preston North End in June

North End have had to be careful with the American’s recovery, mindful not to make the injury worse.

They lost one of their other summer signings, Izzy Brown, to a ruptured Achilles which he suffered in training.

Brown is on the slow road to recovery after surgery, with him progressing to walking on the treadmill recently.

Olosunde, 23, has been back running on the Euxton pitches with the medical staff and the next step will be to join in with training.

Lilywhites head coach McAvoy said: “Matthew is up and running. He won’t be far away from coming back to train with the squad.

We’ll probably see him sometime around the international break.”

PNE’s reserves have a game in the Central League Cup against Carlisle United at Euxton next Tuesday.

McAvoy thinks that will be too soon for Olosunde.

“That one coming up might be too early for Matthew,” said McAvoy.

“We want to make sure he gets fully fit, rushing things won’t do any good.”

Olosunde managed less than a fortnight of pre-season training before being injured.

So he will need to get a good base of fitness before picking up where he left off with his PNE team-mates.

The 23-year-old was a Bosman signing after coming to the end of his contract at Rotherham.

When he is fit, Olosunde will provide competition in the right wing-back position.

That has been occupied by Sepp van den Berg this season who will take some dislodging.

But competition for places is something McAvoy wants all over the pitch.

Injuries have not been kind to some of PNE’s new arrivals this season.

After Olosunde and Brown were laid low in pre-season, Connor Wickham joined the casualty list last week with a badly damaged hamstring which is likely to sidelined him for a lengthy spell.

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