Callum Robinson is back in Preston’s hands and possibly available for the big clash with Manchester United.
After rejoining on loan from Aston Villa 10 days ago, the young striker remained in the Midlands to have a hamstring strain treated.
Yesterday, he was back at Springfields and will train with the squad tomorrow as the countdown to facing United continues.
In his initial loan spell, it was Robinson’s hat-trick against Havant and Waterlooville which set the Lilywhites on a winning path in the FA Cup.
Robinson said: “I’m happy to be back and hopefully I can challenge myself again and score some goals.
“I went back to Villa hoping to play in their first team but I didn’t get any game time.
“There were a few teams in the Championship who were interested in me and wanted me on loan but I wanted to come here again.
“I like the gaffer and how it all works here – it was an easy decision to come back once the opportunity arose.”
North End manager Simon Grayson is pleased to have Robinson back and will see how he is in training over the weekend before deciding if to have him in the squad for United’s visit.
Grayson said: “Callum did some work with the physio yesterday and we think he will be back in training tomorrow if it all goes to plan.
“His recovery has gone really well at Villa and we will see where we go with it. We won’t rush Callum but it is nice to have him around and he could be involved on Monday night.”
Robinson’s last day with Villa before coming back to Preston saw the Valiants sack their manager Paul Lambert.
Grayson has sought to play down fears of a second early return for Robinson should Lambert’s successor choose to have him back.
“With it being a youth loan they can recall him after 28 days, that is standard,” said the PNE boss.
“But all being well, Callum is here for the rest of the season.”
Although Grayson has got Robinson back, another of his loanees faces a longer spell on the sidelines.
Jermaine Beckford is out of action for another few weeks as he continues to battle a severe ear infection.
Preston had even faced up to the possibility of losing the Bolton striker for the rest of the season but a visit to a specialist has dispelled that.
Said Grayson: “Jermaine has an inner ear infection which has affected his balance and caused him dizziness.
“He went to see a specialist and before that we thought there could be some really bad news and he could possibly be out for the season.
“But it looks like he is only going to be a few more weeks.”
The remaining tickets for the United game – numbering just under 2,000 – went on sale today. Fans have had to be on the club’s database since January 1 to get one.