Preston North End injury news for Blackburn Rovers as Emil Riis update given by Ryan Lowe

Emil RiisEmil Riis
Emil Riis | Camera Sport
PNE face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Friday night

Preston North End could remain without Andrew Hughes for Friday night's derby at Blackburn Rovers, with the Lilywhites set to make a late call on the defender.

The Welshman has missed more than a month of match action due to calf injury. PNE boss Ryan Lowe was hopeful of having him back for last weekend's match against Coventry City, but Hughes sat out once again as North End took extra care over the knock.

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Hughes has been on the sidelines for the last six games, with Greg Cunningham stepping in for the bulk of those before Kian Best got the nod last time out. Hughes has been taking part in training at Euxton this week and appears more likely to be involved in the match night squad, than Liverpool loan man Calvin Ramsay. Lowe

"Calvin has had a good week," said Lowe in Thursday's pre-match press conference. "He played 45 minutes against Accrington through the week. His mental toughness has been different class, because he's had to go through a tough time. He's now back with us, training on a daily basis and really ramping it up with the lads. To come into our group - where they are all fit, strong, physical and game ready - and challenge the likes of Pottsy, it's tough for him.

"But he is going about his business perfectly well and it's only a matter of time before he gets up to speed. Hughesy has trained for the last two days, so he will continue to train today. That's it isn't it? Then there's only Ali (McCann), Emil (Riis) and Jack (Whatmough). Jack is on the grass but not with us just yet. Hughesy will come into the squad and into contention. Calvin will be in the 22-man squad. Whether they are available for selection, we'll wait to see until after today."

The long-term absentee at Deepdale is striker Emil Riis, who has been out since early January with a serious knee injury. The Dane was given a glimmer of hope over returning in September, but suffered a setback and required further treatment. North End's boss says Riis is now on the home straight, with his workload set to step up after the international break.

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"He's not far off," said Lowe. "He's champing at the bit in there. He's obviously had a little bit of a clear out in his knee, a few weeks ago. He's now in a better place for it and is continuing the strength and conditioning on all of his body, not just his knee and legs. Hopefully we'll get him back on the grass after the international break.

"We don't want to rush him back too soon, but he's in a clear headspace of when he's going to be back, which is positive. We've done the right thing. He'll hopefully be back around the Christmas period, which would be a nice Christmas present for him, me and all of us. We all know what Emil has got. To have another talented striker, available for selection, will be good for everyone."

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