Preston Pair On Injuries And Returns
John Welsh has been back in training this pre-season as he looks to return to action for Preston.
Welsh, 33, who has been sidelined for nine months through a calf injury when playing for North End against Brighton way back in October. He has also suffered a few setbacks along the way but the midfielder is now on his way back.
He told the Official Website it's taken longer to return than anyone would have wanted but Welsh feels he's 'getting there' and will hope to be involved under Neil.
'If you measure it to my broken leg I was told I`d be out for 9 months and that was that, I was working towards fitness. With this it`s been a real testing time because I was coming back and I was two weeks away then I broke down - then I go to six weeks and then I broke down. It`s been mentally draining but I`ve got a great physio in Jacko, great people around the club and my family have kept me strong. I`ve just been getting my mind on getting fit, although it`s taken a long time, it`s not ideal. I`m hopefully, fingers crossed, getting there now.'
Welsh added: 'My calf feels really strong so it`s just about keeping it strong. I`ve been getting involved in training a lot more, the new gaffers come in and everything looks to be going well.'
It hasn't been as long a setback for Tom Clarke but the defender is also on his way back to full fitness now.
Clarke was injured in April and couldn't join the squad for training in Ireland but did travel with them to Fota Island as the North End captain thought it important to remain as part of the group as to know what the new boss' plans are.
He told the Official Website: One of the main things is that I'm still in and around the group, seeing the gaffer work and being in the meetings with the lads is what I wanted. The facilities here are brilliant so it's been good, I've been able to get the work in but also stay close to the team and still feel involved. I told Jacko, the physio, that I still wanted to come, I didn't want to be back in Preston on my own so it's nice to be involved and see the gaffer work and get the fitness in as well.'
Neil has impressed Clarke, 29, from the meetings he's been involved with but it's also the positive feedback from his teammates that please him as 'the lads are coming back and speaking highly of him and the work that he is putting in.'
The progress is going well as Clarke bids to step up his return from his Achilles injury - he feels he's a couple of weeks from stepping things up to be able to get closer to his playing return.
Clarke said: 'I'm at the stage where I'm 11 weeks in now and I've been doing similar stuff for a few weeks now and I can't push it yet but in a couple more weeks I can probably push on a little bit more and start doing new things and see the light a little bit to getting back towards playing on that football pitch.'
Adding: 'There's a lot of strength work at the minute, so it's a lot of calf raises, squats and then in the afternoons it's been pool work and getting the work in, still keeping the upper body going and slowly starting to do a bit more fitness work on the bike and stepping that up. It's good, I'm feeling good at the minute and I'm progressing well.'