Ireland U21 Barton out for season
IRELAND U21 cap Adam Barton will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a serious ankle injury.
The midfielder picked up the knock while on duty for Preston against Walsall last weekend and is now facing up to four months on the sidelines.
He will be missed by Preston as they battle to make it into the promotion play-offs in League One, and it's a blow for U21 boss Noel King who had hoped to have Barton fit for the next game in the U21 European Championship qualifiers, at home to Italy in June.
"He's dislocated his ankle and broken his leg in two or three places - a very nasty injury," said Preston boss Graham Westley.
"It's too early to put a time frame on the injury."
Barton was capped at senior level by Northern Ireland before his switch to the Republic.
He has since won four U21 caps.