Jim Goodwin is “confident” Dundee United captain Ross Docherty will be able to resume full training in the coming week.
The Tannadice boss has been without the combative midfielder since he limped out of their Championship fixture against Airdrie with just 19 minutes on the clock, nursing a groin strain.
Given Docherty has also endured issues with both hamstrings over the course of the campaign, Goodwin was determined to practice patience and ensure one of his star performers is 100% ready before being pitched back into action.
But Goodwin expects Docherty to come into contention for the upcoming Scottish Cup visit to Queen of the South next Saturday.
Declan Gallagher and Louis Moult – the latter was fit enough for a place on the bench in Friday night’s 4-2 defeat at Falkirk – are expected to return to the side for the trip to Palmerston Park.
“Declan (Gallagher) had a little niggle on Friday night and we didn’t feel he was worth risking in that game,” confirmed Goodwin. “Louis Moult was similar, which is why he didn’t start the game.
“Both of those players should be fit and available for Saturday.
“Also, we’ll see how Ross Docherty reacts to treatment and rehab over the weekend. I’m confident he’ll join in with the group in the middle part of next week.”
A third academy debutant
On a forgettable, underwhelming night for all of a United persuasion, there was a faint silver lining in the debut earned by 17-year-old midfielder Adam Carnwath.
He became the third academy graduate to be given his senior bow by Goodwin, following 16-year-old duo Owen Stirton, who also featured against Falkirk, and Scott Constable.
And Goodwin is adamant Carnwath’s cameo was granted “on merit” after a string of fine displays for the Terrors’ youth side, including a goalscoring outing against the Bairns’ U18s last week.
“Adam did really well at the Falkirk Stadium last week in the U18s game,” added Goodwin. “He caught my eye on the day.
“I feel a little sorry for him because it’s not the sort of game you’d want your debut to be remembered for. But it should be a very proud moment for him and his family.
“He got that opportunity on merit and I actually thought he did quite well in the limited time he was on the pitch.”