Preston North End injury news as Riis, Ramsay, McCann, Whatmough and Hughes updates given

Injury updates on five PNE players ahead of Saturday’s match against Millwall
Preston North End's Ali McCannPreston North End's Ali McCann
Preston North End's Ali McCann

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe has confirmed that Ali McCann and Jack Whatmough are both set for a spell on the sidelines.

The latter was withdrawn from recent international duty, having picked up a calf issue in Preston’s penultimate match prior to the break. McCann then played no part at Ipswich Town, where team mate Whatmough was forced off with a hamstring problem. PNE return to action on Saturday - at home to Millwall - and have been handed a big boost on Ched Evans. But, McCann and Whatmough will ‘definitely’ play no part for the next few weeks.

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“Ali is still going to be a little bit,” said Lowe. “Jack Whatmough is going to be a little while - hamstring. don’t know the timescale on them just yet, but they are progressing well. Jack is already out on the grass and hopefully won’t be too long. But, he’s had a previous injury in that hamstring and probably didn’t recover as well as he should’ve done on it. There’s nothing we can do about that; it has happened and we’ve just got to make sure we get him back fully fit, as quick as we can.”

Andrew Hughes was another absentee in the two away defeats - the Welshman also encountering a calf issue. Lowe described the defender as ‘touch and go’ for Saturday’s clash, but did not appear overly confident of the number 16 being involved.

“Hughesy is not far away but again, I don’t really want to risk him because I don’t want them being out long-term” said Lowe. “But, Hughesy is on the grass, doing bits and we’ll see how he is today and tomorrow. So yeah, we’ll just keep monitoring him but Hughesy is the closest one; Ali and Jack will be a little bit longer.”

Lowe had been hoping to have both Evans and fellow long-term absentee Emil Riis back after the international break. The Dane suffered a serious knee injury back at the start of January, but has been dealt another setback on his road to recovery. Riis has been taking part in first team training and pushing for a return, but won’t be back anytime soon judging by Lowe’s latest update.

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“Emil has had a bit of a setback, but we’ve got to get some more details on that, because we don’t want to rush him now that we’ve got Ched,” said Lowe. “We were hoping to get the two of them back at the same time, but if one had come first I’d have taken either. We will monitor Emil’s situation; he will go and see a specialist to get a second opinion on where he’s at. I don’t know how long he’s going to be yet. We’ve got some meetings pencilled in and we’ll take it from there.

“I am not worried; it might be an extra three, four, five or six weeks maybe but it’ll be for the better. He’s been training well and saying he feels great, but has just had a bit of swelling. Obviously, if there’s a bit of swelling then we know there’s something not right - so we’re going to get that all looked at and dealt with. If you’d have told me I’d have Emil Riis and Ched Evans back before Christmas, I’d have bitten your hand off.”

On a more positive note, Jordan Storey is back from the illness which kept him out of the Leicester and Ipswich matches. And Liverpool loan man Calvin Ramsay - who is yet to play for Preston after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury - is making encouraging progress. North End hope to be back working with the Scot next week.

“Calvin is going to be with us from Monday,” said Lowe. “We will have to get him up to our speed, but he’s gone through all the protocols he needed to at Liverpool. He’ll get up to speed with us in training and we’ll hopefully get him some minutes in a (reserve) game. But, he’s fully fit now and will be back with us after the Millwall game.”

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