John McGlynn has revealed that defender Dave McKay is on course to return to the Raith Rovers squad after completing his first 90 minutes in 16 months.
McKay, 22, missed the entirety of the 2020/21 campaign after a devastating cruciate knee ligament injury forced him to undergo a serious operation last August.
Following a gruelling rehabilitation programme, the luckless centre-half then tweaked his hamstring on Rovers’ first day of pre-season training last month and has not featured in their public friendlies.
However, McGlynn has confirmed that McKay played the entirety of a low-key bounce game on Monday and suffered no ill-effects.
Barring any set-backs, he is now in contention for Rovers’ Premier Sports Cup opener at Cowdenbeath on Saturday.
“Dave [McKay] played the full 90 minutes in a match we organised on Monday and that is brilliant news,” McGlynn told Courier Sport. “He strolled the game, albeit it was physically demanding, given he hasn’t played for more than a year.
“I’m delighted for Dave because it has been a long road for him to come back. The Covid situation didn’t help him, and then picking up a knock on the first day of pre-season didn’t help him either.
“But, hopefully this is him putting his injury concerns in the past. He was in on Tuesday and, barring a couple of aches and pains that are totally normal, there was no reaction.
GOOD LUCK DAVE | Defender Dave McKay has surgery today on his injured ACL – we wish him the best of luck and a speedy post-op recovery.
The rehabilitation will be hard work, but everyone at the club is behind David and looking forward to seeing him in action again 👊 ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/3HXyxAUMYN
— RRFC Official (@RaithRovers) August 21, 2020
“We are hopeful Dave will be in a position to help us on Saturday.”
While McKay has been absent since February 22, 2020, he is far from a forgotten man at Stark’s Park and, with 69 senior appearances under his belt since emerging through the youth ranks in Kirkcaldy, he remains very highly-regarded.
And McGlynn believes he will reap the rewards from working with ex-Hearts and Scotland star Christophe Berra, creating an impressive defensive pool when all of his options are fit.
“Dave can only learn from someone like Christophe and hopefully that experience and quality will rub off,” added McGlynn, who hopes to have Liam Dick back for Saturday’s trip to Central Park.
“When we get Dave back, and Tom [Lang] and Frankie [Musonda], we will be very strong at the back, with excellent options.”
Ross Matthews awaits ‘fluid’ test results
Raith are less blessed with options in the heart of midfield, where Regan Hendry has departed for Forest Green Rovers and Ross Matthews will be out for an undetermined period with a persistent toe complaint.
“They are going to take some fluid out of the area where he is getting pain — just below his big toe, near the joint — and analyse that to see what they find out,” continued McGlynn. “We can only take it from there. That’s an ongoing issue.”
As such, McGlynn hopes to add at least two new signings to his group in the coming weeks, with a central midfielder and a wide player to compete with Aidan Connolly and Dario Zanatta top of his shopping list.