Remote treatment: Preston’s walking wounded are being monitored from home

Tom BaylissTom Bayliss
Tom Bayliss | freelance
Alex Neil says Preston are managing to monitor their injured players remotely during footballs’ shutdown.

The Lilywhites had three players at the rehabilitation stage following surgery when the season was suspended and the country locked down.

A fourth, Ben Pearson, was recovering from a hamstring strain and would have got back in action during March had things continued as normal.

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Tom Bayliss, Billy Bodin and Louis Moult were the trio working their way back to fitness after operations.

PNE boss Neil has been without Bayliss and Bodin since January, and Moult for most of the season.

Bayliss damaged ankle ligaments in a bounce game and went under the knife the following month.

He was due to miss the rest of the season but the delay in its conclusion could see the young midfielder return to play a part.

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Bodin had surgery on his Achilles tendon, removing a piece of floating bone.

Moult has been sidelined since August when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

He had an operation in the autumn and was targeting a return to training in July.

Neil said: “It’s not been too much of a problem with the injured lads, Matt Jackson our physio is in constant contact with them.

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“Any difficulty there is depends really on what stage they are at with their rehab and how that is to deal with.

“With young Tom Bayliss for example, he is at a stage where Jacko really needs to see him and assess him.

“He wants to make sure that the next step from strengthening work to doing some running is the right one for Tom to make.

“When the physio can’t be hands on and actually assess it, that can make things a bit more tricky.

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“We are keeping up to speed with everyone and all the players know what is required of them.

“If we’ve had any issues with the injuries, they have been quickly resolved.”

It is difficult to say at this stage when the injured players will be fully fit and ready to play a part.

Much depends on when the season resumes.

If the season pushes on well into the summer, there is a chance Bayliss and Bodin could be involved.

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There might have to be an air of caution with Moult, the striker’s injury having been a serious one.

In normal circumstances he would have been looking at getting a full pre-season under his belt and return that way to full fitness and sharpness.

However, there could only be a short break between the eventual end of this season and the start of the 2020/21 campaign.