Browne, Millar, Storey and the Preston North End injury news as squad stretched for Watford

PNE face Watford away from home in the Championship on Saturday
Alan Browne celebratesAlan Browne celebrates
Alan Browne celebrates

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe hopes to welcome Alan Browne back for Saturday’s trip to Watford.

The Lilywhites are looking to bounce back from defeat at Birmingham City, where PNE’s squad was depleted. Ben Whiteman, Ryan Ledson, Ched Evans and Brad Potts will all remain sidelined, but Browne - who was ill - could be in the fold again while Jordan Storey is pushing for a return. The centre-back was an unused substitute at St Andrew’s, with Jack Whatmough brought in.

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Speaking on Thursday morning, Lowe said: “We will see how Al is today. Hopefully he can get through training today. We will know more after that. He’s had some tight calves, but he was sick the other night - vomiting quite a bit. He hasn’t had much intake of food or drink over the last couple of days, so we’ve got to be mindful. If he trains fully and hasn’t been doing that, it could be worse. His calves have been giving him a bit of grief of late.

“(Storey) has had a hip problem, which we felt we didn’t want to risk him with. The game was too soon and Jack came on for him in the Rotherham game and did well. It’s a like-for-like, if you like, and we felt we couldn’t risk him. But, he is going to train today and we will see how he comes through it. Hopefully we can just wrap them up in cotton wool as well, at some point, and get them out to play.

“Ched is due to be with us on the grass, one day either this week or next. I am not too sure yet - he is obviously away from the team in terms of not being available for selection, just yet. He will probably be Sunday or Monday, potentially before the Huddersfield game. Ledo is on the grass today, which is good news. Hopefully we can get him back in the next week or so. If he has strength in his calf, can run and is fit and able, we will get him out. But, we can’t rush him.

“Pottsy and Whitey are still the same - struggling with their injuries. They are better on a daily basis, but we’ve got to be a bit more patient with theirs. They are not even on the grass yet, just doing some gym work. And yeah, we will have to go with what we’ve got - a little bit depleted, as such. But listen, that’s why you’ve got a squad isn’t it? Sometimes it affects you and sometimes it doesn’t. We’ve just got to hope it doesn’t affect us, too much.”

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One player who did feature in Birmingham was loan man, Liam Millar, off the bench. But, Lowe has stressed that the Canadian is not fully fit at the moment after picking up a niggle during the international break. Millar did not feature for Canada, but sustained the issue during training with his national team.

“Millar will be on the grass with Browney, doing a little bit today,” said Lowe. “But no, he is not (100 per cent fit) is the truth be known. We thrust him on, but we didn’t really want to use him because of the groin injury - when he went away with Canada. He said he shot with his left foot and felt something. We didn’t get the diagnosis off Canada, for a while. They sent it over on a DVD but we couldn’t read the disc. We got him scanned over here and it showed a small strain. He has got to do loads of strengthening, but he’s been working on it all week so hopefully he’ll be fine.”

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