Dundee goalkeeper Jack Hamilton has his sights set on a return to first-team action before this season is out.
The former Hearts goalie has been out of the picture since the turn of the year following surgery to sort a chipped bone in his finger.
The 25-year-old has returned to training with the Dark Blues now, however, and the Tele understands he wants to be challenging current first-choice Seny Dieng for the gloves by the close of the campaign.
With Dundee facing relegation full in the face as they sit bottom of the pile with just five games to go, any extra help will be welcome, though displacing Dieng is likely to prove difficult.
The Swiss keeper, brought in on loan from English Championship side QPR to fill the void left by Hamilton’s injury, has impressed during his time at Dens Park.
He’s shown his inexperience at times but has been ever-present for manager Jim McIntyre. Dieng has featured 14 times now but is yet to keep a clean sheet as the Dundee backline has struggled in the second half of the season.
He appears certain to continue as first-choice until the end of the campaign, excepting injury of course, but Hamilton hopes to give boss Jim something to think about as he gets himself back to fitness after four months out.
The Dens gaffer revealed a few weeks ago that the nature of the injury meant he couldn’t do much in terms of training with doctor’s orders saying sweating was a no-no while he had a cast on his hand.
That was removed last month and now Hamilton is keen to make up for lost time.
The former Forfar loanee had his own moments to forget in the first half of the campaign but gained two league clean sheets – a 4-0 win over Hamilton Accies and a home stalemate with Livingston on his second-last appearance on Boxing Day.
Experienced goalie Elliott Parish is still an option for the Dens gaffer but he’s been out of favour since a disastrous showing in McIntyre’s first match in charge back in October.
A 4-0 defeat to Livi could be his last appearance for the club with his contract coming to an end this year.
The Dark Blues’ other league shut-out this season saw Parish play his part in a 2-0 win at Hamilton in September.