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Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Thursday, 13 March 2008

Preston hit by double injury blow

Liam Chilvers and Bradley Wright-Phillips
Chilvers (left) has scored twice for Preston (Getty)

Preston boss Alan Irvine has had his worst fears confirmed after hearing Liam Chilvers and Craig Beattie both face lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Chilvers is expected to be out for nine months with a ruptured achilles, while Beattie's double hamstring tear could keep him out for two months.

Irvine said: "Liam had the operation on Wednesday and everything seems fine."

"The one for Craig just about takes him to the end of the season. If he gets back in six weeks then he might play."

It's a real shame for the lad, he's really disappointed

Alan Irvine

Irvine admitted news of Chilvers' injury did not come as a shock: "The diagnosis was correct and that's not good news.

"The operation went without any problems and we will keep on checking him and make sure that there is no infection in the wound or anything like that."

Beattie, 24, only joined North End on loan from West Brom at the beginning of March.

The striker managed just 38 minutes of his debut against Leicester before picking up the injury.

"It's a real shame for the lad, he's really disappointed.

"He was very upset by it at the time, he feels as if he's let us down, which of course he hasn't done. Anybody can pick up an injury at any time," Irvine added.

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