St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has welcomed the return to action of long-term injury victim Brian Easton.
But a hamstring strain looks likely to prevent January recruit Michael O’Halloran facing his former club Rangers this weekend.
Saints defender Easton hasn’t featured for more than a year after undergoing surgery and treatment for a persistent groin problem but the left-back got a 45-minute run as the reserves drew 1-1 with the Ibrox side’s second string on Monday.
Wright said: “We were really pleased with Brian.
“He has had a really tough time of it but he has overcome the first obstacle by getting his first game time for over a year.
“He just needs minutes in his legs now and he will get an hour or so next week against Morton in the reserves.
“We will build it up but hopefully he will come back into contention in a few weeks and play a part in the last two months of the season.
“It was a decent work out for Brian because Rangers had a few experienced players, as did we.”
Midfielder Blair Alston missed a last minute penalty kick but got 90 minutes along with Danny Swanson, Liam Gordon, Niall Keown, Callum Hendry and Aaron Comrie.
However, January signing from Melbourne City O’Halloran strained a hamstring.
Wright added: “It happened early on so we caught it. But unfortunately Michael probably won’t be fit for the weekend.”