Both Nicky Clark and Chris Kane could return to the St Johnstone squad for Saturday’s clash with Motherwell.
Kane missed the midweek draw with Aberdeen as a result of illness, while his fellow striker felt his groin tighten after the defeat to Airdrie a few days earlier.
The pair – and Kerr Smith – are now back on the training ground and in contention for a game that gives Saints an opportunity to leapfrog their opponents.
“Nicky hasn’t really had a clean run at it for quite a while,” said manager Craig Levein.
“I am hoping that he’s OK for Saturday.
3 goals in 2 games 🔥
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) November 8, 2023
“Kano has been ill after the problems with his calf which kept him out at Airdrie.
“He’s trained for the first time today. He was off Wednesday and Thursday.
“He’s better now.
“Kerr Smith is added to the squad.
“He just needs training and some game-time.
“For him, he’s going to have to work his backside off to get in the team which I think is a good thing.
“And while he’s working his backside off it will help him get fitter over the next couple of weeks.
“At some point I will need to rest one or two of my elder statesmen at the back.
“Then hopefully we can get Kerr up to speed and ready to step in.
“Or if someone gets injured then he may need to appear sooner than expected.”
Third time lucky?
Saints have already faced Motherwell twice in Levein’s short time in charge at McDiarmid Park.
On both occasions they got themselves into the lead only to be pegged back for draws.
“Biereth is away but Theo Bair came on at Fir Park and caused us some problems,” said Levein.
“The last two games were really tight and fairly nervous affairs, I felt.
“We were two up here and then we lost a goal and I felt that affected us and we lost another one.
“It was 1-1 through there when they scored in stoppage time.
“So that’s a warning for us.
“It’s something that we need to concentrate on – to make sure that we are defending well late into the second half.
“The teams are obviously quite closely matched. That’s what we’ve seen.
“The question is – have we improved since then? Have these guys we’ve brought in made a difference?
“We’ve had periods of resurgence, then falling back down a wee bit.”