Darren Ferguson admits Preston North End midfielder Paul Parry is unlikely to be fit for the start of next season.
Parry has not played for the Championship club since the end of December and is undergoing a lengthy period of rehabilitation after suffering tendonitis in his knee.
He had made 19 appearances since his arrival from Cardiff City last summer and Preston boss Ferguson is unsure when the 29-year-old will be back in action.
Ferguson told the Evening Post: "We'll have to wait and see with Paul, but he won't be fit to start pre-season training with the squad.
"He might be fit enough in terms of doing some training on his own, although not with the rest of the lads. I doubt Paul will be ready for the start of the season. It might sound pessimistic saying that, but we have to take it gradually with him.
"It's a serious injury he's had, so there's no point taking any unnecessary risks and setting him back further.
"Paul is a good player, I like him, and it's just a shame I haven't had the chance to work with him yet.
"When he gets fully fit, he has a big part to play here."