Murray Davidson’s Betfred Cup final hopes have soared and the influential midfielder may even make his St Johnstone comeback THIS weekend.
The 50-50 assessment Perth boss Callum Davidson made last week has improved dramatically over the last few days, with the former Scotland international’s powers of recovery possibly bringing him into contention for Saturday’s clash with Motherwell.
The former Livingston man, who injured his calf at Ibrox a fortnight ago, feared history was cruelly repeating itself and that he would miss out on a final with Saints, as he did in 2014.
“Murray’s progressing well,” said his manager. “Doing better than probably expected.
“He’s been out running today, which is great to see. I think he’s possibly got a chance for Saturday.
“It’s a difficult one as in how hard do you push him? Any setback at the moment would be detrimental.
“He’s feeling really good and we’re trying to work on him as hard as we can to get him back into training before the final.
“Obviously, if I get Murray back for this Saturday that would be brilliant.
“If I don’t, then we’ll see after that.
“It is a bonus he could have a chance.
“The physios and medical boys have done really well to get him to this stage and near enough ready.”
We’ll load him a little bit more and see where we can get to.
Davidson added: “It definitely is better than 50-50 at the moment.
“I’ve been injured many a time myself and it’s just one of those difficult ones for deciding how hard you push.
“We’ll just try to get it right with Murray.
“Murray’s obviously an experienced player and knows his own body. So we’ll see how he is over the next couple of days.
“We’ll load him a little bit more and see where we can get to.”
Given the fact that Davidson only sustained his injury two weeks ago, it isn’t essential for him to prove his fitness at Fir Park.
“I think Murray needs to be training at least for a couple of days before (the final),” said the McDiarmid Park boss.
“It’s very important that he’s there and available. Selected or not (this weekend) it’s important he’s on the training pitch and showing me that he’s ready to go.
“That would then give me a decision to make about what I do for the final.
“First and foremost though, we’ve a game Saturday which is upmost in my thoughts. The cup final is still a bit away.
“For me the most important thing is this Saturday.”
Scott Tanser has already put the hamstring strain that kept him out of Sunday’s defeat to Celtic behind him.
“Scott is back fit again,” Davidson reported. “He’s trained this week and he is looking good.
“Everybody else is good. It is just Murray who is a doubt.”
Meanwhile, Livingston manager David Martindale revealed the West Lothian club are stepping up their Covid-19 precautions ahead of the Hampden final, and it will be the same for Saints.
“We will take three buses to Fir Park, with five on each bus,” Davidson explained.
“The lads who live around Motherwell and Hamilton will drive to the game.
“We are taking every single precaution we can with the cup final in mind and making sure players are put in the right seats.
“The biggest thing is to avoid several players having to isolate if anyone does get it.
“It is a nervous time.
“It has been hard on the younger players. We have had to send a few of them away just to limit the numbers around the club.
“A lot of kids go back to school next week and that is a bit of a worry too.
“I’m not sure if I should ban my daughter from going back because she’d probably be delighted about that!
“Like Livingston we can’t afford to have anyone missing because of Covid.
“So we will continue to take every precaution we can.
“Hopefully no one catches it between now and next Sunday.
“And it is the same with Livingston. We want to see both clubs having their full squads to pick from for a big game.”