Benjamin Siegrist is back in training at Dundee United and could put himself into shock contention for a derby day return next weekend.
The Swiss keeper had been expected to be out for several months after a freak training ground injury three weeks ago.
Trevor Carson has proved an able deputy during that time and earned a starting slot for Northern Ireland last week.
However, after getting the all-clear in a scan, Siegrist has resumed light training and hopes to win back his place.
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) September 8, 2021
He is expected offer United a major boost by picking up the pace during next week’s Dundee derby build-up.
And Tannadice boss Tam Courts has refused to rule out bringing back the fans’ favourite for next Sunday’s visit of Dundee.
When asked if Siegrist could face Dundee, Courts said: “There is a chance as he could be back in full training next week.
“It’s hard to say for certain whether or not he’ll be back for the derby. He needs to go through a few different things from a training perspective.
“Knowing Benji, the way we all do, he’s trying to push the boundaries of his rehab.
“He wants his place back in the team.
“He sees the games coming up and he wants to be part of that. Benji’s well on track.
Tam Courts ‘surprised’ by swift return of Benjamin Siegrist
“It is a bit of surprise he could be back so quickly.
“That’s the great thing about getting him scanned so quickly and being able to rehab and look after him here.
“We’ve been able to get him back on the pitch and handling a football.
“We anticipated that it was going to be potentially a long injury. But, as it transpires, it might not be.
Benji Siegrist is ‘loved by his team-mates’
Benjamin Siegrist made more saves against Celtic than any other goalkeeper has made in a single game this season 🙌
Sportscene looks at the performance that helped earn Dundee United a point against the Parkhead side 👇 pic.twitter.com/ch5Gv77a0C
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) March 8, 2021
“We always tried to stay away from diagnosing him internally because we just didn’t feel it was right to do that.
“When any player goes down when there’s nobody near them, you always fear the worst.
“To start with, we recognised that it wasn’t going to be a matter of days, or maybe even weeks.
“It’s just been a nasty twist in the end.
“Benji is a positive character. He’s loved by all his team mates and is vastly important for us on the pitch.
“He’s a strong character and to have him back on the pitch is a big confidence boost.”