St Johnstone manager Craig Levein is hopeful Dara Costelloe will be available for Saturday’s trip to face old club, Hearts.
The on-loan Burnley man was suspended for Saints’ last two games, having been sent off in the second half of the victory against Kilmarnock.
He’d have missed the Motherwell and Ross County matches anyway, as a result of a hip flexor injury he picked up that night.
With a scan providing reassurance that there wasn’t serious damage, the Irishman is now back on the training field.
“Dara was out doing a bit today,” said Levein.
“Chris (Kane) had a little issue but he seems to be fine. He was out there today, as was Callum (Booth).
“I am hoping those three will be fit for the weekend and available for selection.
“Dara had something wrong with his hip flexor. He went for a scan, which was all fine. It was just precautionary.”
Scope for improvement
If there are no set-backs, Costelloe will be a contender to pick up where he left off at right wing-back, a role caretaker boss Alex Cleland introduced him to.
“I hadn’t seen Dara before the Kilmarnock game and I liked what I saw,” said Levein.
“He’s got good speed and athleticism. That’s useful.
“He’s a good player as well. You don’t get on Burnley’s books without being a good player.
“He’s young. I don’t think he’s played much first team football with Burnley.
“He’s here with us for a reason, to get him ready to do that.
“If he’s capable of going back there and playing then we will get some benefits, I’m sure of that.
“I think he will get better.
“We’ve got quite a few players in that bracket who, I think, are capable of improving quite significantly.
“Hopefully he gets a wee run at it without any other issues.
“We will see how he trains between now and Saturday.
“I hadn’t seen him train. That’s him just back out on the grass.
“It would just be good to have everyone available.”
Bounce game last week
Saints played a closed-doors match against St Mirren on Thursday, with DJ Jaiyesimi among those who featured.
“DJ came through the bounce game,” said Levein. “He did OK.
“I hadn’t seen some of the players play so from that point of view the game was good.
“We’ve had some of the younger ones training with us as well.”
Meanwhile, Drey Wright will be out until after the mid-season break, as expected.
“Drey had a microfracture so he’s not on the radar just now,” Levein reported.