Preston North End youngster Ethan Walker can still go on to make an impact on loan despite surgery
Preston boss Alex Neil wants Ethan Walker to resume his loan spell at Carlisle United once he has recovered from a shoulder operation.
The 18-year-old winger had made a bright start to his stay in Cumbria, making five appearances after joining them on the opening day of the season.
A fortnight ago, Walker dislocated his right shoulder in an EFL Trophy tie against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Having hurt the same shoulder last season while with PNE’s youth team, he was advised by a specialist to undergo surgery to stabilise the joint.
Walker is expected to be sidelined for three months and will do his rehabilitation work under the supervision of North End’s medical staff.
Neil said: “Ethan has had an operation and unfortunately it is going to take him out for a few months.
“He’s done well up there at Carlisle and we are all disappointed for him.
“We need to get him fixed and then get him games when he’s fit to play.
“We’ve taken over his recovery, Ethan will be treated here. We’ll see what the situation is when he’s fit, we will talk to Carlisle and see where we are at.
“Having spoken to them, they were really pleased with how Ethan was doing.
“He’s made an impact there which is what you want players to do when they go out on loan.
“Ethan is a young lad who needs minutes at first-team level.
“Going to Carlisle was a great move for him.”
Before having surgery, Walker had posted on Twitter: “Very unfortunate for it to have happened again.
“ However, I need to get my shoulder right to stop any reoccurring problems in the future.
“It is frustrating after having such a positive start with Carlisle.”
Walker is among a group of players who North End have loaned out for first-team experience.
Jack Baxter and Joe Rodwell-Grant are at Chorley, while Jacob Holland-Wilkinson is with Lancaster City.
Baxter has yet to make his Magpies debut but striker Rodwell-Grant has come off the bench three times.
Holland-Wilkinson has started the Dolly Blues’ last two games – a 4-2 victory at Grantham Town last Saturday and Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with FC United.