Preston manager Graham Westley believes midfielder Adam Barton can come back stronger after suffering a horror injury on Saturday.
The 21-year-old appeared to catch his studs in the turf when going in for a challenge with Saddlers utility man Richard Taundry and suffered a dislocated ankle and a broken leg.
"It is too early to put a time frame on the injury, but having done a very similar injury myself it was probably four months until I was back in training," Westley told Preston's official website.
"Hopefully they will get the operation right the first time, he will probably have a couple of screws and plates to put it together and with a bit of luck he will be back for pre-season training.
"I feel for Adam. He has been terrific since I have been here, he has been in really good form and he is an exciting prospect.
"It is a little bit of a knock for him but the best players are the ones who deal with these kinds of negative situations and come away stronger."