Preston North End manager Phil Brown is confident Paul Coutts will be fit for pre-season training after undergoing a groin operation.
Coutts will miss Preston's final game of the season against Watford on Saturday after being booked in for surgery to fix a long-standing problem.
The midfielder had groin and hip surgery 12 months ago and has been restricted to just 23 appearances in all competitions for the Lilywhites this season.
He marked his final appearance of the campaign with a goal in the weekend's 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town and will now focus on being ready for next term in League One.
"It's been the type of season which no player wants to go through," said Brown.
"Unfortunately, Saturday was his last contribution of the season. He needs an operation and hopefully he will be back in full flow for the start of pre-season training.
"A lot of these players will benefit with a good pre-season under their belts, none more so than Paul Coutts."