Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson admits he can see Lewis Toshney playing a part this season for the first team despite the luckless player picking up another injury.
The 26-year-old suffered a serious knee problem this time last year which required surgery.
The versatile defender/midfielder battled back to fitness and was loaned out to League 1 outfit Arbroath in July.
However, he only lasted 45 minutes of his first game for the Red Lichties at Alloa after his knee flared up again and United agreed to take him back to Tannadice.
There were fears that Toshney might have to hang up his boots but Neilson revealed the former Scotland Under-21 player hasn’t missed a training session since he took charge at the club until yesterday when he suffered an ankle problem.
The manager said last night: “We have had a couple off today with a wee bug but I expect them to be back on Thursday.
“We just told them to stay away but I don’t see it being a problem.
“Other than that, Toshney got a wee knock and we will assess him over the next couple of days.
“He was on loan at Arbroath but got injured so he is back with us.
“He has been training with us trying to get fully fit.
“He has twisted his ankle today but thankfully it wasn’t his knee.
“Hopefully Lewis will get through it OK and be back with the squad.
“He has been doing great, to be honest with you so hopefully he will only be out for a week or two.
“From the time I have been in, he has trained every day so he will be disappointed to get this wee niggle.”
When asked if he could see Toshney come into the reckoning for the first team further down the line, Neilson said: “Definitely. If he can get himself fit, keep himself fit and continue to work hard . . . there is no doubt he has been about the block and knows Scottish football.
“He will be a good asset to us if we can keep him fit.
“He has had a tough time of it and we just need to help him as much as we can to get back and then assess it once we do.
“I had heard previously that there were issues with the fitness side of it but he has not missed a day until now for me. We just need to keep on top of it.”
Neilson has had some time to reflect on Saturday’s draw with Inverness at Tannadice and the manager believes his players deserved more than just a point from the game.
He said: “Having watched it again, I think the performance was very good.
“It just reiterated what I said on Saturday after the game. I felt we played a lot of good football and we had 15 or 16 shots at goal.
“We just couldn’t find that wee bit of quality to get that second goal.
“Sometimes you play games and don’t get what you deserve and other times you can have a stinker and nick three points.
“Saturday was a game where we played very well and didn’t get what we should have got out of the game.”