Preston North’s End’s former Huddersfield Town striker Jermaine Beckford is making good progress in his recovery from knee surgery.
It will be watching brief for the 32-year-old when the sides square up in Saturday’s Championship contest at Deepdale.
But the man who played a big role in keeping Town in the Championship the first season after their promotion in 2012 should soon be back in training.
Beckford, who scored 18 goals while on loan from Bolton Wanderers as Preston won promotion from League I last season, was signed in the summer but has been out since August.
It was current North End boss Simon Grayson who brought him to Town on loan from Leicester City in September 2012.
The pair had previously worked together at Leeds United, who gave the player his big break after signing him from non-league Wealdstone.
Former Chelsea trainee Beckford’s particular injury and the repair work required has meant his recovery has not been rushed.
The damage was fixed using microfracture surgery, with small holes drilled in the bone near to the damaged area which help to build new cartilage.
Grayson said: “Jermaine is making good progress. It has been a slow process but he is doing a lot of work with the physios and has been doing a lot more running.
“He is working hard to get his fitness levels up and hopefully it is not too long before we have him back on the grass doing some work with the squad.
“With knee injuries you can get reoccurrences so we have had to be careful to avoid that.
“Jermaine will be like a new signing when he comes back but we won’t rush him.”