Andrew Davies has told boss Jim McIntyre he’ll be back ahead of schedule to help Dundee escape the drop.
The central defender joined the club at the start of January but broke his foot in his first outing in dark blue in a bounce game.
The 34-year-old former Ross County skipper was expected to play a big role in the Dens gaffer’s survival bid but has had to look on from the sidelines.
He spent a few weeks recovering down south recently but is back in Dundee and on the training pitch, eager to gain his fitness to be able to finally make his bow for the Dens Park club.
Jim said: “Davo is back running.
“He’s made real progress over the last couple of weeks.
“Sunderland gave us permission to use their anti-gravity machine which has helped bring him on so we’re thankful to Jack Ross for that.
“It has helped but he’s over six weeks now, will be seven weeks tomorrow so he’s where we expected him to be.
“Hopefully, he can shave a week off it but we’ll pick it up day by day and see how he feels.
“Him being him, he’s telling me it’ll be sooner than that because he’s desperate to get out there.
“What we don’t want is any recurrence so we’ll be guided on how he is feeling.”
Davies has been joined by goalkeeper Jack Hamilton this week after the stopper had a wire removed from his broken finger after surgery at the start of the year.
Jim added: “Jack is coming on fine. He got the wire out of his finger last week.
“He can start his comeback proper and he’s keeping Andrew Davies company at the moment – they’ve done a lot together on the bikes and they’re doing running on the training ground so it’s great to see them coming back.”
Meanwhile, two bodies he’d like back sooner are nearing a return and Jim is hoping he’ll have his striking options boosted for Saturday’s home clash with Hearts.
Frontmen Andrew Nelson and Craig Curran missed the 4-0 defeat to Rangers last midweek but have a chance of a return this week.
“They are coming on, slow,” Jim said.
“They aren’t back on the training ground yet but we’re hoping we’ll have at least one back training by the end of the week.
“Craig had an injection in his stomach last week which has settled down nicely but it needs time.
“Nelson is his heel which he picked up celebrating his goal at Livingston.
“Again that is better but it’s not fully away yet.
“What we don’t want to do is bring him back too early and there is a recurrence.
“We’ve tried a couple of different things but he was tender last week and we had to back off.
“It was better over the weekend so we’ll see what he’s like by the end of the week.”
At Ibrox, Jim opted for on-loan forward Scott Wright to lead the line in an attempt to catch Steven Gerrard’s Rangers on the hop with pace and will have that option again. However, he’d welcome goalscorer Nelson and “focal point” Curran back.
The Dens gaffer said: “Craig has been a focal point for us and brings a lot of people into play in terms of the work he puts in and how he doesn’t let defenders settle.
“We went for pace against Rangers by putting Scott Wright up and pace on the sides with Jesse Curran and Andy Dales.
“That wasn’t an easy decision because we had Kenny Miller’s experience there as well but we felt we could get down the sides of them when their full-backs went forward but we met them on a night when they were excellent.”