Liam Gordon is ready to make his St Johnstone first team return against Hibs this afternoon.
A pre-season training ground elbow fracture couldn’t have come at a worse time and the young centre-back is desperate to do his bit to help Saints to their first league win and start building some upward momentum after a miserable summer.
“It has been terrible watching from the stand because you want to be out there helping the boys,” said Gordon.
“We had done the hard running in pre-season and it was at the point the games were going to start.
“But 24 hours before we played Inverness in the first match I did my elbow and that was me out.
“It’s not been a good few weeks. You couldn’t have picked a worse time but thankfully I have only missed two league games.
“The elbow is fine now. I am still working on getting the strength back into it but it’s not an issue when I play.
“I don’t have to wear any protective stuff or anything like that. I played against Cove in the Tunnock’s Cup and also in a bounce game against Arbroath, and both were fine.
“So I just can’t wait to get going again and I hope I’ve done enough in those two games for the manager to pick me.
“I haven’t played at Easter Road for Saints before but I played there when I was on loan at Arbroath a few years back.”
Gordon finished last season as a first-choice centre-back and if he can stay clear of “daft” injuries he has got his eye on establishing himself as a regular starter next to skipper Jason Kerr in 2019/20.
“I need to get through the season without any more daft injuries,” he said.
“I haven’t had muscle strains or anything like that. It’s all been broken noses, elbows, shoulders, two holes in my skull from Kyle Lafferty’s boot – all stuff like that.
“But that’s what happens when you’re a centre half. You have to put your body on the line and these things happen.
“I actually think my nose has been broken enough times now that it has gone straight again!
“It’s part of the game but hopefully I can get a run at it now and not pick up any more.”
New signings would be welcomed in the Saints dressing room but Gordon insisted that the players already at the club can win at Easter Road.
“The team we have at the moment is the same side who finished the season well after the split,” he said.
“The fans are getting frustrated at the lack of signings but we know that if we get a few in how strong we’ll be.
“We lost a couple of first team players from last season, but they didn’t play after the split – it was the boys who were going to be here this year.
“So we have to take confidence from that. If we have everyone on the park we have a strong 11.
“Whoever the manager picks this weekend we know we’ve got enough.
“Hopefully we can get a result to kick-start the league season.”
Manager Tommy Wright added: “It’s up to us to be better. We have only shown glimpses of our quality – in the first half against Ross County and in the final half hour against Livingston.
“Overall, the level of doing things right hasn’t been there.
“But there have been signs of encouragement.
“The squad will be along similar lines to the Livingston game.
“David Wotherspoon will be back training and should be available for the Kilmarnock game next week. That’s good news for us.
“He should play 45 minutes in a reserve game on Monday.
“Drey Wright will be seeing his specialist to get signed off and back playing competitive games.
“He has been training fully. Drey should be back for the Aberdeen game.”