Grayson devastated by Woods injury blow

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson

The defender looks set to miss the whole of the coming season after suffering knee ligament damage in Preston's pre-season win.

Preston North End's Calum Woods in action with Sheffield United’s Jose BaxterWoods is set to miss the entire season after suffering a knee ligament injury

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has told the club's official website that he's "devastated" by the news that defender Calum Woods is set to be ruled out of the coming Championship campaign with a knee injury.

Woods is facing the prospect of being sidelined for up to nine months, after suffering damage to both his medial and cruciate knee ligaments in the first half of Wednesday's 3-1 pre-season win over Oldham Athletic.

QPR's Matt Phillips and Preston's Calum Woods in action

The 29-year-old was a mainstay in the Preston first team last season, making 32 appearances, and his boss admits that his absence will be a big blow to the Lilywhites' Championship campaign.

He told the club's official website: "I am really gutted for him because he was one of the outstanding performers especially in the second half of last season. He's so versatile and gives everything and that was probably his downfall the other night. He gave everything in the tackle when he probably should have pulled out a little bit, but you can't take that out of players."

Preston's Marnick Vermijl and Calum Woods (R) in action with Crewe's Bradden Inman

"We are absolutely devastated for him, the lads are gutted for him as well. These things do happen in football and what Calum will do is he will work hard and come back even stronger and fitter.

But despite the disappointing news, Grayson is confident that the sense of togetherness in the squad will help the former Liverpool trainee to come back stronger, adding that the injury experiences of his teammates could be beneficial to his recovery.

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson

"It's going to be a difficult road for him, we have suffered quite a few long terms injuries really and I think the lads will get experience from other players and talk to them. When they see any signs of them being a bit down the lads who have been through that will gather round Calum," Grayson added.

Preston finished 11th in the Championship last season, following their promotion from League One in 2014-15.

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