Dundee’s attacking options are set to be boosted by “dynamic” Alex Jakubiak as the former Watford man nears a Dark Blues debut.
It’s been a long wait for everyone at Dens Park to see what the frontman can bring to James McPake’s side after he picked up an ankle injury in the first game of pre-season.
A further setback after returning to training and the threat of surgery being required to fix the problem followed.
However, the 24-year-old returned to training before last Sunday’s trip to Hibs and is now in contention to make his first Dundee squad since signing way back at the start of August when they travel to Ayr on Saturday.
‘He’s dynamic, he’s strong and quick…he will play a big part this season’
“Everybody is desperate to see Alex play, even the players because they’ve seen in training the quality he brings to the team,” said manager McPake.
“He’s dynamic, he’s strong and quick and is a proper handful, likes to bang into people.
“The players know that because they’ve trained with him but unfortunately he’s had a difficult time with his ankle.
“It has been frustrating when you bring in a player that you think will have a real impact on your squad and your season but you lose him so early.
“That’s been difficult but we’ll get him right and he’ll play a big part this season.”
The Dark Blues squad has been stretched to its limits in the past couple of weeks due to injuries, illness and suspension.
Seven first-team players missed the trip to Hibs last weekend but the Dark Blues hope to have a few bodies back available for the trip to Somerset Park.
Young midfielder Max Anderson will certainly be back after his cup ban while centre-back Lee Ashcroft has returned following a positive Covid-19 test.
“Lee has been good,” said McPake.
“He’s healthy which is the main thing and doesn’t seem too affected by it.
“He trained really well and there’s a protocol to follow coming back from Covid but he’ll be ready for Saturday.
“He seems fine but we won’t take any risks if there’s any problems.”
Danny Mullen has been the club’s sole option at the top end of the park in recent games with Jakubiak joined on the sidelines by Jonathan Afolabi and Osman Sow.
Both had hamstring issues and are now nearing a return but the Dens boss insists there will be no chances taken on any injury to avoid further problems.
McPake said: “The injuries have eased slightly.
“Jakubiak is back training which is a massive boost for the whole club, fingers crossed he holds up but he looks good. We’ll work with him this week.
“Osman Sow is back in training this week while Afolabi is a possible. He’ll certainly be ready for the following week.
“With the squad being so thin we can’t take any risks with any injury.
“Jakubiak has been out for so long and is that dynamic a player we need to be cautious so that when they are back there isn’t going to be a recurrence and they are back for a prolonged period.”