Preston manager Alex Neil has ruled out any chance of Billy Bodin and Josh Harrop featuring for the club before the end of the season.
Bodin, who joined Preston from Bristol Rovers in January 2018, hasn’t made a single appearance for the Lancashire side this season, while Josh Harrop hasn’t featured since September, and it appears both with have to wait some time for a return to action.
Speaking to the Lancashire Evening Post, Neil revealed his plan was to give them a full pre-season to prepare ahead of season, saying:“You won’t see Billy or Josh before the end of the season.
“Both lads have damaged their cruciate ligament and it is a big injury.
“It would be negligent of me to force them back before the end of the season – Billy in particular as this is his second one.”
Explaining his pre-season lans for the pair, Neil added:“I want to give them both a strong pre-season so that they can remain injury-free next season and be a big part of what we do.”
Though Preston have coped pretty well without the pair so far this season, it is getting to the stage of the season when the miles are starting to be felt in the legs and knocks are starting to take their toll. That could mean that even the absence of just a couple of pair of fully fit legs would have been a welcome relief without Deepdale.
As it is, there will be concern around whether this squad can go the full distance now, particularly given Saturday’s defeat at Reading, and the fact that it was around this stage of last season that Preston’s play-off challenge started to fall away, something that will not be lost on those around the club.