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Dundee boss Gary Bowyer provides update on return of long-term absentees Lee Ashcroft, Cillian Sheridan and Adam Legzdins

Dundee's Cillian Sheridan, Lee Ashcroft and Adam Legzdins.
Dundee's Cillian Sheridan, Lee Ashcroft and Adam Legzdins.

Dundee have to be careful not to push too hard with their returning long-term absentees, says boss Gary Bowyer.

The new Dens Park manager’s options have been bolstered by the return to pre-season training for key defender Lee Ashcroft, striker Cillian Sheridan and goalkeeper Adam Legzdins.

All three have taken part in some early sessions, though the club are wary of any reoccurrence of their injuries.

Former Celtic striker Sheridan was out the longest, having ruptured his Achilles tendon last October.

Cillian Sheridan suffered an Achilles injury at St Mirren.

The 2020/21 Player of the Year Ashcroft, meanwhile, was a major miss for Dundee in the Premiership last season.

A key man in the centre of defence, the former Kilmarnock man was also a big threat at the other end, scoring the goal that clinched promotion in 2021.

He suffered a serious hamstring injury in December before returning in March only to suffer a fresh setback that ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign.

While the Dark Blues missed a key man in the backline, another important member of the defence was missing as Adam Legzdins was sidelined from February onwards.

‘Dipping in and out’

He is a little further off returning than Sheridan and Ashcroft says Bowyer but the new manager is pleased to see progress being made.

Bowyer said: “All three of them are doing all right.

Lee Ashcroft suffers injury against Motherwell in November.

“We should get more news on Adam this week.

“The other two are doing well, dipping in and out of the group.

“They are making good progress and having conversations with them, they are really keen and it is now a case because they have come so far, we don’t push them.

“We don’t want to cause any more damage.

“But they both seem to be very good characters as well.

“They have been good around the place when they have not been training, supporting the group, so they have been really good.”

Opening day?

Dundee boss Gary Bowyer.

Dundee’s 2022/23 campaign kicks off on July 9 against Hamilton Accies in the Premier Sports Cup.

The hope is that the trio will have a chance to make a long-awaited return to first-team action.

However, Bowyer is keen to stress he’s more interested in having players fit and available for the entire season.

Asked if they will be in contention for the start of competitive action, Bowyer replied: “It will be close but like I said, it is important that we have them available for the majority of the season rather than try to push them for the opening day.

“But it won’t be from lack of effort from them as they are working very hard.”

Dundee No1 Adam Legzdins opens up on Mark McGhee’s ‘unhelpful mixed messages’ over injury as he targets return

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