Preston North End carefully managing Sean Maguire's return to action says boss Alex Neil
Preston North End boss Alex Neil says Sean Maguire's rehab is going as planned but knows he will have to be managed carefully in the weeks and months to come.
The striker has had an injury-hit time at Deepdale and is currently on his way back from a third hamstring problem since the summer of 2017.
He limped out of the Republic of Ireland’s game with Northern Ireland back on November 15 and is expected back in the new year.
The 24-year-old has already missed the first couple of months of the season having been out for four last term, still managing 10 goals in his first campaign at Deepdale.
“His rehab is probably going as expected,” said Neil.
“But you’ve got to bear in mind that in the year-and-a-half I’ve been here Sean’s been out three times with three hamstring injuries.
“He’s been a key player for us and when he’s fit he generally plays.
“We’d like to get him fit but it’s really important how we handle him and how we manage him. That goes for when he’s away with Ireland as well.
“Two of the injuries have been when he’s been on international duty which has been a real blow for us.
“When you’ve been injured you’re always susceptible to pick up more injuries.
“We’d really like to try and give him a clear run and build him up as best we can.”
Maguire is one of a number of key forward players out for Neil.
Billy Bodin and Josh Harrop are set to miss the rest of the season with serious knee injuries while top scorer Callum Robinson is likely to be sidelined until around March with a hamstring problem of his own.