Raith boss Ray McKinnon is hoping to take advantage of an unexpected bonus as the race for a promotion play-off place heats up.
Rovers striker Lewis Vaughan was previously ruled out for the season after rupturing his cruciate ligament during the August 1 League Cup victory over Albion Rovers.
The 20-year-old was initially told his rehabilitation could last up to nine months after going under the surgeon’s knife in September at the Yorkshire Clinic in Bingley, where Scotland striker Steven Naismith and ex-Rangers captain Barry Ferguson have also been treated.
However, Vaughan has made a quicker-than-expected recovery and could receive the nod to return to playing later this month.
McKinnon said: “Lewis has another check on his knee on March 28 and if he gets the all-clear from that he can go and play 45 minutes in a reserve game.
“He’s going to do a wee bit of training but we’re just being careful with him.
“He’s not far away. I would say he’s fit but we can’t take any risks with him until he gets this test.
“If we do get into the play-offs, he might be available, which would be brilliant.”
Meanwhile, McKinnon has paid tribute to full-back Rory McKeown who has been playing through the pain barrier.
The Northern Irishman has hardly trained recently because of a knee problem but has still put in some solid performances and even scored a wonder goal against Morton at the end of last month.
McKinnon added: “I think Rory’s sort of under-appreciated.
“Defensively, he’s been really good. Against Rangers, he was brilliant Michael O’Halloran couldn’t get past him.
“I think he’s doing really, really well and he’s played every game for two years.”