JOSH Vela is pushing to return from an ankle injury in time for this weekend’s Red Rose clash with Preston North End.

The home-grown midfielder twisted his ankle at QPR a fortnight ago but scans have shown no ligament damage.

Phil Parkinson is already considering change in the midfield which faced Norwich City last weekend as Reece Burke is also battling against an ankle problem. But Vela’s potential return could give the Whites a timely boost against their local Championship rivals.

“The ankle’s alright, thankfully,” said Vela, who has missed the last two games “I got good news from the scan, so hopefully I am back fit as soon as possible.”

The 24-year-old Salfordian has already had to contend with one long lay-off at the start of this season and is happy to report he won’t be spending more time in the treatment room.

“It has been a frustrating couple of months for me with injuries, really,” he said. “After the first game I got a bad injury, so I was out for 10 weeks and fell behind.

“I’ve come back and played in quite a few games before obviously getting this little knock, but that’s part and parcel. It is especially frustrating with just how good last season was, but that’s football. You get injuries and you just have to deal with it.”

Wanderers have won just twice in the Championship without Vela in their side, against Sheffield United and Sunderland, and his absence was attributed as one of the major causes of the slow start made to the campaign.

“It was tough watching the boys inside the first few months,” he said. “Obviously I wanted to play but since I came back into the team I’ve been doing alright and climbing up the table.”

Preston will be backed by 3,300 fans as part of their Gentry Day celebration – a tradition dating back 12 years to commemorate a quote from Farnworth-born Alan Ball praising the club’s support. PNE boss Alex Neil says he may get involved in the celebrations if his side get the right result.

“If we win I might wear a bowler hat afterwards,” he said.