Preston North End captain Alan Browne hopes his injury struggles are firmly behind him after a difficult period with a hip problem.

The skipper played 81 league games across the two seasons but Browne was suffering in pain away from the pitch.

This summer he joined pre-season training slightly late after a scan revealed tears and cartilage damage, meaning keyhole surgery was required on his hip at the end of last season.

Browne has stepped up his minutes in PNE's recent friendlies and played an hour against Wigan Athletic on Friday.

He looked back to his old self and the Irishman is crossing everything that he can get through the 2021/22 campaign smoothly.

"It feels good now," he said. "I haven't had many problems, I have to keep on top of it and work hard before and after games to make sure it is right.

"It was a bit of a mess in there so it is not great but I'll keep working as hard as I can.

"I've had a little procedure done now which will hopefully get me through a full season.

"I felt it for the last two years or so, it is not fully sorted but the procedure should ease the pain.

"It'd been happening for a while but I didn't think anything of it.

"It wasn't so much while I was playing, I was getting through games and training alright but it was mainly at night when I was trying to sleep and just in agony."

Head coach Frankie McAvoy was impressed with the performance of his number eight on Friday, and hopes that is a sign of things to come.

"The biggest pleasing part for me in the first half was that Alan Browne looked excellent," said McAvoy. "I thought he looked back to the way I know he is capable of playing, I was really pleased with him."

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