Dundee boss Neil McCann believes Craig Wighton’s call-up to the Scotland under-21 squad has set the seal on his comeback from serious injury.
The front man needed an operation last July after rupturing his cruciate in a bounce game against Bristol City.
It looked like the 20-year-old would miss the entire season however, he worked hard to battle back to full fitness and returned to the first team at the beginning of April against Celtic with McCann admitting it is like having a new signing.
Now, Wighton has been called up to the national Under-21s for the Toulon Tournament that takes place between May 26 and June 9.
Last year, the player helped Scotland to the country’s first ever win at any age level over Brazil in the same competition.
And his club manager paid tribute to the youngster for the way he has fought to get back to this stage once more.
McCann said: “I am absolutely delighted for Craig – 100%.
“He might have to cancel holidays but that is going to give Craig more extended game time and something to really look forward to going into that tournament.
“It has been fantastic for Craig and it has been like having another signing outside the window.
“He has impacted the games he has played in.
“I think to be chosen in the Under-21 squad again will be great for him and he can maybe feel he is back to where he was again.
“So much time has passed but his main target would have been to get back fit, play for our 20s and then get back trying to feature for the first team before the end of the season.
“After that, possibly the Under-21s although I am not sure just how high a target that would have been for him.
“But now he has been chosen, that is Craig back to where he was and now it is all about going and showing what he can do at that level.”
Wighton’s rehab work in the gym has paid dividends with the player now bigger and stronger than he was before the injury.
McCann added: “You can see it physically and that’s been the biggest difference in Craig.
“He has changed his shape and that will undoubtedly help him.
“Sometimes players can go crazy in the gym when they have an injury and it can affect their mobility.
“But there are no effects clearly in my eyes with the way he moves.
“One of Craig’s biggest qualities was drifting by people. He had a slight frame and he would move but now he can afford to let people get close to him and use that physicality and ability to go.
“So that’s just going to add to his game.
“He has worked extremely hard and I am pleased he has got himself back feeling fit and strong again.”