Preston North End manager Frankie McAvoy has revealed that Tom Barkhuizen will be available to feature in his side’s clash with Queens Park Rangers this weekend.
However, Andrew Hughes is facing a race to be fit for this fixture due to a toe injury.
Meanwhile, Ched Evans could be set to return to training during the international break.
Barkhuizen has been forced to watch on from the sidelines in recent weeks as he continues to recover from contracting Covid-19.
Limited to just one appearance this season as a result of this issue, the midfielder will be determined to make a positive impression for Preston if he is selected by McAvoy for this clash.
Hughes missed the Lilywhites’ 1-1 draw with Stoke City on Tuesday and now faces a nervous wait to see whether he is able to make his return to action on Saturday.
Preston will be hoping to extend their current unbeaten run in the Championship to eight games by producing a positive display at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Ahead of this showdown, McAvoy provided an update on Hughes, Evans and Barkhuizen.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference for this fixture (as cited by the club’s official Twitter account) about Hughes, McAvoy said: “We are hoping we can get him back in, it’s a nasty toe injury to be honest.
“We are hopeful but we will have to wait and see.”
Making reference to Evans, McAvoy added: “He won’t make Saturday, he will hopefully be ready during the international break and we can get him back training.
Speaking about Barkhuizen, the Preston boss said: “Tom is ready, he’s been training he’s just not had a lot of time in terms of games so it’s getting him up to speed but he’s available for Saturday.”
When you consider that Barkhuizen was able to register an assist in Preston’s clash with Hull in August, McAvoy will be hoping that the midfielder can produce another encouraging performance this weekend after revealing that he is fit enough to feature against QPR.
With Evans set to miss out, Preston may need to turn to Emil Riis Jakobsen for inspiration on Saturday.
The forward has already scored seven goals in all competitions and thus will fancy his chances of adding to his tally against a Hoops side who have only kept three clean-sheets in the Championship this season.
As for Hughes, it could be argued that McAvoy should be looking to ease the defender back into action in order to minimise the risk of another injury setback.