Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston has welcomed the return from injury of last season’s first-choice goalie Sean Murdoch.
The 30-year-old stopper played 43 times for the Pars in their promotion campaign but has been sidelined so far this term as he tries to overcome a persistent wrist problem.
David Hutton has taken his place between the sticks but he now faces competition for the No.1 jersey from the returning Murdoch who stepped up his recovery on Monday night playing in a Development League match against Partick Thistle.
Johnston said: “Sean Murdoch is getting closer and closer. Last week he did some handling but we’re just taking it easy and building it up because he’s not done anything for a couple of months.
“He’s been doing shooting and small-sided games and just getting used to the pace of the ball again, doing some handling and getting his feet moving again.
“He was obviously a massive player for us last season and it would be great to have him back, and he’s getting closer and closer.
“He’s feeling good and hopefully he’ll be challenging for a place sooner rather than later.
“Hutts has done well but you want competition. If you’ve not got that then it doesn’t push you on a wee bit.
“So, it would be great to have that competition, although young Cammy Gill has been excellent as well. He’s still a young goalie but he’s improving all the time.”
After making his comeback on Monday night, Murdoch admitted he is feeling fit and is available for selection for Saturday’s home game with St Mirren.
He said: “Two months ago I decided to take time out to try and get the bone to heal. It is the lunate bone that has broken away that is causing the pain.
“It can`t be operated on, it is something that I probably will have for the rest of my life but it is much more manageable and doesn’t restrict me in any way.
” I will make myself available for Saturday and it is down to the manager if he chooses to select me.”