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Preston striker needs surgery for ‘serious’ issue usually seen in NFL and rugby

Ched Evans, 34, could yet return to football if the surgery is successful

Aadi Nair
Wednesday 05 April 2023 17:42 BST
Ched Evans
Ched Evans (Getty Images)

Preston North End striker Ched Evans is set to undergo surgery after developing a “serious medical condition” due to repeated high-force contact, the Championship club said on Wednesday.

Evans, who previously played for Manchester City and made 13 appearances for Wales between 2008-11, spent two-and-a-half years in jail after he was convicted in 2012 of raping a 19-year-old in a hotel in north Wales.

He was found not guilty after a re-trial in 2016. He resumed his playing career after signing for Chesterfield later that year and has played for second-tier side Preston since 2021.

“The 34-year-old forward is facing potentially life-changing consequences as a result of repeated high-force contact which he has received on a weekly basis throughout his career,” Preston said in a statement.

Evans missed Preston’s last two games due to a neck injury.

Preston did not specify what the condition is, but said it is “more common in American football and rugby players”.

“The condition requires surgery to address his current symptoms and to prevent any further damage from occurring in the future,” the club added.

“The club have consulted with the country’s leading specialists and are currently working together to finalise arrangements for the surgery. Pending a successful surgery, the striker will spend an extended period of time doing rehabilitation work.”

Preston added that a timeline for the striker’s return would only be provided once the outcome of the surgery was known to them.

“It’s been tough for me, the staff and the players because it’s a bit sickening when you get that news in the blink of an eye,” Preston manager Ryan Lowe said.

“He’s got a strong family behind him who will make sure he’s right. Once he’s had the surgery we’ll hopefully see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel because having the surgery doesn’t mean that’s him done.”

Preston are 10th in the league standings on 56 points from 39 games. They next travel to 18th-placed Queens Park Rangers on Friday.


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