Youl Mawene's injury is not as bad as first feared although the Preston defender is still set to be sidelined until the new year.
Mawene damaged knee ligaments in North End's 1-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle a week ago and it was thought he would be out for the rest of the season.
Boss Alan Irvine said: "It looks like Youl's got a tear in his medial ligament which would keep him out for some time. His cruciate ligament is okay which is a major thing without any doubt, so I'm delighted about that."
He added: "It's a bad enough injury but it's not as bad as it could have been.
"He'll certainly be out for the rest of this calendar year but how long it takes for him to get back, you're talking about months rather than weeks."
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