It wasn’t exactly a surprise when Preston decided to send Josh Ginnelly out on loan in January.
Signed from Walsall in January 2019, Ginnelly had struggled for first-team football with Preston ever since his arrival. Last season, Ginnelly managed just five substitute appearances for a grand total of 51 minutes.
Despite showing some promise in pre-season, Ginnelly played just twice this season. Once was a left back in the Carabao Cup, and once was as an 80th minute substitute against Bristol City in September.
When Bristol Rovers came knocking in January, North End were more than happy to let Ginnelly spend the second part of the season with the League One side.
Ginnelly managed nine appearances for the Pirates, and his big moment came against Blackpool in February, as he scored the winner against Preston’s biggest rivals with a rather fortuitous goal.
Ginnelly wasn’t named in the squad to face Southend United at the weekend though, leaving Rovers fans to wonder where the 22-year-old winger had gone.
Now, Rovers boss Ben Garner has told the Bristol Post that Ginnelly has picked up a ‘really unusual’ injury in his hip, tearing a muscle there which means he has now returned to Preston initially just for treatment and rehab.
Garner hopes Ginnelly can come back to action soon, but with not long left to go this season, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if Ginnelly stays put with Preston and works ahead of pre-season.
“Unfortunately Josh picked up a really unusual injury in his hip last weekend, he’s torn a part of the muscle,” said Garner. “We didn’t pick it up until in the week when we had it scanned. He’s gone back to Preston initially to get treatment and do the first stage of the rehab there. We’ll hopefully have him back as soon as possible,” he added.