Preston caretaker-managers David Unsworth and Graham Alexander are set to have Jamie Proctor and Steven Smith back at their disposal for the visit of high-flying Sheffield Wednesday.
Striker Proctor could return after missing North End’s last three games having broken down in his recovery from a double hernia operation, while Scottish defender Smith is back in contention having served a one-match ban for collecting his fifth yellow card of the season in the victory over MK Dons.
Midfielder Barry Nicholson is expected to fall foul of an ankle injury once more and Neil Mellor will miss the game against his former club as he continues rehabilitation following knee surgery.
Teenage forward Jamie Douglas will be pushing for further action having come off the bench to net an injury-time equaliser – his first senior goal – in the 3-3 Boxing Day draw with Carlisle.
Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday skipper Rob Jones is doubtful for the game due to a back injury.
The central defender was forced off early in the second half during the Boxing Day defeat at Walsall and faces a late fitness test.
Miguel Llera, on loan from Blackpool, stepped off the substitutes’ bench at Walsall and is expected to start alongside Danny Batth if Jones fails to make it.
Richard O’Donnell is likely to retain his place in goal following Stephen Bywater’s return to parent club Derby, while veteran Nicky Weaver is not in contention after jarring his back in training.
Striker Gary Madine remains sidelined with a broken toe and defender Lewis Buxton (hamstring) is another long-term absentee.
The Owls, one point adrift of second-placed Sheffield United, saw their eight-game unbeaten run ended at Walsall.