Preston winger Chris Sedgwick is making promising progress in his recovery from a hernia operation.
The 28-year-old was back on the bench for the Lilywhites at the weekend as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.
Alan Irvine resisted the urge to throw Sedgwick back into the action at Selhurst Park, preferring to bide his time as the midfielder eases his way back to full fitness.
However, Sedgwick's presence among the travelling party came as a surprise given that he only recently went under the knife.
The former Rotherham man required surgery on a persistent problem prior to Preston's home date with Ipswich on 28th February.
He admits that he is running ahead of schedule as he looks to force his way back into the fold, but does not believe that he has rushed back too soon.
"The specialists said I would probably be out of action for about two or three weeks, but I'm probably around a week ahead," said Sedgwick.
"I was back training on the Friday before the Crystal Palace game and with the squad being as short as it was, I was back in contention for the Saturday."