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Dundee boosted by return of skipper Kevin Thomson

Kevin Thomson (left) and boss Paul Hartley.
Kevin Thomson (left) and boss Paul Hartley.

Dundee boss Paul Hartley has received a big boost ahead of tomorrow’s game against Partick Thistle with captain Kevin Thomson being declared fit to rejoin the squad.

The former Scotland and Rangers midfielder suffered a hamstring injury against Inverness two weeks ago and was forced to sit out last Saturday’s match at Hamilton.

The 30-year-old has now responded to treatment and is back training.

Another injury victim who has been out for weeks following an op on his knee, keeper Kyle Letheren, will also be in the squad at Firhill after making his comeback in midweek for the Dark Blues’ Under-20s.

However, Hartley revealed that player he was hopeful would make a return against the Jags has suffered a setback because of illness.

He said: “Thommo was back training today and he will be in the squad for Saturday which is a bonus for us.

“It is too late for Paul McGowan who will be another few days. He has been suffering from a bug this week also.

“Letheren is back in the squad. It is good to see him back and we are strong in that (goalkeeping) department.

“Peaso (Peter MacDonald) did a little light training but he is still several weeks away in terms of building his fitness and match sharpness up again.

“But it is good that he came through the session feeling OK.

“Obviously, Gary Harkins will be out because of suspension.”

There will though be a new addition to the squad at Firhill in the shape of young midfielder Dylan Carreiro who has just completed a loan spell with Arbroath.

The Canadian really impressed during his time at Gayfield, with Red Lichties boss Allan Moore even stating that he hoped he could re-sign the 19-year-old in the January window.

However, Hartley has challenged Carreiro to prove that he is capable of making the step up from League Two football to the Premiership.

He said: “Dylan will be in the squad.

“I spoke to Allan and he said he had done really well for them but I now want him to show us that he can play at this level.

“That’s the ultimate test for him.”

One player who has already made the step up from part-time football this season is former Cowdenbeath striker Greg Stewart.

The 24-year-old has netted nine times so far for the Dark Blues and he scored another cracker last week against Hamilton.

That form has persuaded Hartley to attempt to tie the player up to a longer contract.

The manager said: “He has been terrific for us.

“I can only see Greg getting better. He is the type of player I like watching.

“He has great balance, a terrific left foot and is really composed and calm.

“There were a lot of question marks thrown at us when we signed him like, ‘Why are you taking a player from Cowdenbeath? Can he handle the step up and is he good enough?’.

“I always felt he was but what he has done so far has been absolutely terrific.

“He is a player we want to try to keep longer.

“A lot of clubs were watching him but we were lucky enough to get him.

“We have been talking over the last couple of weeks about players we are going to try to extend (contracts) and Greg is definitely one of them.

“We have got him for another year and a bit but he is one I want to keep longer.

“Paul McGinn is in the same category and he has also done really well.”

Dundee will face a buoyant Partick side following their shock 4-0 victory away at Inverness last week.

While the Jags were winning in the Highlands, the Dark Blues were losing against Hamilton, their second defeat in succession following an earlier reverse against Caley at Dens.

And Hartley is fully aware that his side need to return to their best if they hope to win at Firhill.

He said: “Partick have had a few good results.

“They produced a terrific performance on Saturday, inflicting Inverness’s first defeat at home this season so we know it will be tough.

“They played very well here at the start of the season, especially in the first half.

“But every game is difficult and we know that.

“I was pleased with our first-half performance against Inverness so it is about a game and a half where we haven’t been at our best.

“We were going to find that at times during the season but we have been in every game we have played so far which is pleasing for us.”

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