Preston North End defender Patrick Bauer starts the road to recovery after successful surgery on his Achilles tendon
Preston North End defender Patrick Bauer has already been back among his team-mates after undergoing surgery to repair a damaged Achilles tendon.
Bauer was at the Exuton training ground yesterday following the operation which was carried out on Monday.
North End boss Alex Neil reported that the surgery had gone well, with the operation less invasive than it can sometimes be with injuries of that nature.
The German centre-half won’t play again this season but his focus in very much on starting his rehabilitation.
Neil said: “I’d spoken to Pat the other morning after his operation.
“He was in good spirits, I don’t know if that was because of the drugs they had given him but he was probably more jovial than I’ve heard him!
“He seemed in a really good place which is good because mentally injuries can be as bad as they are physically.
“Apparently from the surgeon’s perspective, it was the least invasive procedure they could do for that type of injury which is good to hear.
“You have a lot of working parts in that area of the leg and if you damage a few different areas you’ll be out for longer because there’s more to repair.
“In Pat’s case it was a straight Achilles repair and the surgeon thought it went particularly well.
“You are still talking six months, we understand the timescale and so does Pat who will work hard to get fit.”
Bauer suffered the injury in stoppage-time of the 3-2 win at AFC Bournemouth a week last Tuesday.
His absence could well see PNE in the market for another centre-half in January.
North End are in action at Luton today where they will play in front of fans for the first time since September.
The Hatters are in a Tier 2 area and can have 2,000 fans at Kenilworth Road.
When PNE drew 2-2 at Norwich in September, it was watched by 1,000 supporters as part of a Government pilot ahead of a planned return of fans in October.
Those plans were shelved but since December 2, clubs in Tiers 1 and 2 can have limited numbers in their grounds.
Meanwhile, North End’s head of recruitment Joe Savage has left Deepdale.
Savage came to Preston in July 2017, linking-up with Neil again – the pair having worked together at Norwich and Hamilton Academical.
PNE say Savage, 36, will start a new job in January but he won’t work for the Lilywhites in the meantime.
It is understood that Savage is returning to work in Scotland.
North End will look for a replacement in what is a crucial area, Savage having headed-up recruitment and planned the scouting.
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