Iain Turner returns to Preston from Dunfermline following injury

Injury-plagued on-loan Preston goalkeeper Iain Turner has left Dunfermline on the same day as the Pars sacked manager Jim McIntyre.

The 28-year-old Turner joined the Fife club in January after first-choice Paul Gallacher was ruled out for the season.

But he suffered a back injury after making only four appearances for the Scottish Premier League strugglers.

And he has now suffered a set-back in training, leaving the Pars seeking back-up to off-form Chris Smith.

Smith has made a series of high-profile mistakes before and after Turner's arrival and Dunfermline have confirmed that finding someone to challenge for a first-team place will be a priority for a new manager.

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I have tried to step it up a wee bit sooner than the specialist said. Touch wood, it is a good choice

Iain Turner earlier this week

For Scotland squad member and former Everton goalkeeper Turner, it is the latest blow in a season ruined by injury problems.

He broke his foot in training in November - only weeks after returning to action following a broken toe.

By the time he returned to action, new signing Thorsten Stuckmann had established himself as first-choice at Preston and the League One club allowed him to head for East End Park in the search for first-team football.

Turner this week told Dunfermline's website how he was trying to return to action earlier than expected from the back injury suffered in the lead-up to the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock on 7 February.

"My back had been a bit sore leading up to the game, but I thought I'd get through it," he recalled.

"But, during the warm up, it didn't react too well. I went back in for treatment and, for a couple of days after that, my back was just in spasm.

"It is feeling good now, so I am happy.

"The specialist said to shut down for four to six weeks then start light training again.

"After a couple of weeks, it felt reasonably good and so that's why I have tried to step it up a wee bit sooner than the specialist said. Touch wood, it is a good choice."

Turner had been hopeful of helping Dunfermline end their run of eight games without a win and narrow the four-point gap with second-bottom Hibernian before the league splits into two halves of six teams.

"Everyone believes that, if we can put together a couple of wins to lift us up the league, we can start the season afresh," he said.

"We all know what we can do. We just need to start doing it and we have three big games before the split."