Raith Rovers have been handed a HUGE double injury boost ahead of their top-of-the-table showdown with Dundee United.
In a welcome pick-me-up for the Stark’s Park clash a week on Friday, both Sam Stanton and Zak Rudden are in line to be fit for the eagerly-awaited encounter.
It is understood both are expected to resume full training with their team-mates on Monday as the visit of the Championship leaders edges closer.
The talismanic Stanton has been sidelined since being substituted with a knee injury in the first-half of the remarkable 4-4 draw with Ayr United on December 22.
Ian Murray’s side have won just one of their seven games without the energetic midfielder.
He has been badly missed as the Kirkcaldy men have succumbed to five straight defeats in recent weeks.
Stanton penned a contract extension in December to commit himself to Raith until 2026.
It was a reflection of the importance of the former Dundee United and Hibernian player following an impressive opening half of the campaign.
The 29-year-old has netted six times this season, including three in Fife derbies against Dunfermline and three outright winners.
The absence of his attacking threat and endless drive from the heart of the pitch has undoubtedly been a factor in Rovers’ struggles of late.
They will be thrilled to have the former Scotland under-21 internationalist available again after two months of patient recovery.
Meanwhile, Rudden is also set to face United after fears were allayed following his early substitution in last Friday’s defeat to Airdrie.
The on-loan Dundee striker had to be replaced after just 35 minutes because of a hamstring problem.
Raith were optimistic the issue had been caught in time before it worsened and tests have since indicated it is nothing too serious.
Rudden was desperate to make an instant impact at Stark’s Park after finding himself frozen out at Dundee around the turn of the year.
A 45-minute showing against Inverness Caley Thistle gave encouragement when he provided an assist for Lewis Vaughan’s second-half goal.
Although his first start in the SPFL Trust Trophy semi-final loss had to be cut short, it is anticipated he will be back in training on Monday and determined to play his part against United.
Rovers know a sixth consecutive defeat will allow the Tangerines to stretch their lead at the top of the table to a commanding seven points.
However, if they can shake off their recent troubles and continue this season’s unbeaten form against the Tannadice outfit then they could cut the cap to just a point at the summit.