Preston striker Ched Evans glad to be back after injury

Preston North End striker Ched Evans is ready to make up for lost time after injury effectively delayed the start of his season until this week.

By Craig Salmon
Saturday, 27th November 2021, 8:00 am

The Welshman played in two of the first three league games but was then forced on to the sidelines by a damaged foot tendon.

In his first match since the middle of August, Evans came off the bench at Middlesbrough on Tuesday and headed PNE’s equaliser.

Emil Riis scored soon after as Frankie McAvoy’s men won 2-1 on Teesside.

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Ched Evans wheels away after equalising against Middlesbrough with Josh Earl in hot pursuit

Evans said: “Injuries are part and parcel of football but it has been frustrating.

“I came in pre-season with big aspirations but then got a really frustrating injury.

“There was nothing to see because it was underneath my foot.

“Hopefully now I can start to build some momentum and add that extra bit of firepower to the team. My season starts now basically.”

Evans was thrust straight into the squad at Middlesbrough after a spell of training but no reserve game to boost his fitness.

He replaced Sean Maguire early in the second half, his introduction slightly earlier than anticipated.

Asked if he expected as long on the pitch at the Riverside Stadium, Evans replied ‘No’.

The 32-year-old said: “Sean had been carrying a bug and wasn’t 100%. That shows the effort and determination he puts in, he wanted to play.

“I’ve watched Seani a lot this season and he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

“Before games I tell him to stay as high up the pitch as he can but when the chances don’t comes, he drops deep to get the ball and link play.

“He links play very well but then has an extra 30 yards to run to get up the pitch.

“I think he has done a great job for the team and I was pleased to see him get his goal against Cardiff last week.”

Evans had plantar fasciitis in his left foot which put this season on hold for him.

A constant painful injury, it’s taken time to get right.

“It’s the tendon underneath the foot and you can’t really rest it,” said Evans.

“After the Huddersfield game in August was sore and we worked on it for a month or so to try and get it better.

“I felt I was getting somewhere with it but one day I was in the gym and it snapped while I was stretching.

“At least it tearing meant it wasn’t stretching any more and I’ve been working to get back since then.

“I had the same thing in my other foot previously so hopefully now that is the end of it – both feet done.

“I’ve got to keep myself right, keep building my fitness and get more minutes.

“It’s still slightly sore but nothing compared to how it was.”

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