Preston North End's Greg Cunningham opens up on serious injury at Middlesbrough that ended his season early

Preston North End defender Greg Cunningham has opened up on the frustrations of his hamstring injury that ended his 2022/23 season early.
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The Irishman was substituted in the first half of PNE’s 4-0 defeat to Middlesbrough in March due to a hamstring injury picked up in the build up to the opening goal and it proved to be quite serious.

Cunningham was in and out of the North End side last season but had found a regular place at the time, which the injury cost him. And he also missed out on their crucial run-in as they pushed for a top six spot.

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Speaking to the Lancashire Post, Cunningham said: “I've gone in to close down Chuba Akpom, I'm reading the one-two, and as I've turned I've felt a bit of a ping, like an elastic band. I was thinking to myself that maybe he's caught the side of my knee as he's turned, because that's where I'd felt it, maybe that's why it felt a little bit funny.

Preston North End's Greg Cunningham grimaces as he is substituted due to an injuryPreston North End's Greg Cunningham grimaces as he is substituted due to an injury
Preston North End's Greg Cunningham grimaces as he is substituted due to an injury

"My knee itself was stable so I wanted another couple of minutes, regardless of what happens I'll always say to give me a couple of minutes to see how it goes. I wasn't able to move freely and then I knew once I'd gone in the treatment room that there had been some tendon damage because of the way it was feeling.

"I was hugely disappointed because we were one game before the international break and to have that bit of downtime, having played seven or eight on the bounce, I was enjoying that time in the team and feeling really good in myself.

"I didn't have any issues leading into the game at all so it was quite frustrating on that front. It is what it is, it's football and these things happen but it was hugely frustrating.”

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Cunningham’s was not the only long term hamstring injury of PNE’s season, with on loan Tottenham Hotspur striker Troy Parrott also suffering a similar problem.

“It was similar to Troy's, I met with the surgeon and got it booked in straight away, a straightforward three months out,” Cunningham said. "It came at the time when we were pushing for the play-offs and to not be able to contribute again added to a big frustration for me.

"It meant two months of my summer being given up but I'm more than happy to do that if it isn't more game time.”