Keeper blow for Preston
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Preston North End goalkeeper Gavin Ward will be sidelined for at least six weeks with a shoulder injury.
The veteran shot-stopper picked up the problem while playing for the reserves against Tranmere on Monday night.
Ward was hurt as he came to punch the ball away and tests have shown that he has injured the joint between the collarbone and shoulder.
He will now be out of action for a minimum of six weeks to further decrease manager Billy Davies' goalkeeping options.
Though Ward has not started the season as first choice, Davies knows he can call on the 35-year-old to provide reliable back-up.
Ward signed a new one-year contract in the summer but has not played for Preston's first team since February.
Carlo Nash started the campaign as the club's number one and, with Andy Lonergan also injured, Davies only has Chris Neal to provide cover following Ward's injury.