Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson is hoping to have Louis Appere and Paul McMullan back at his disposal for Friday night’s visit of Inverness.
The attacking pair have been battling niggling injuries in recent weeks with McMullan having only played once this year as he continues to struggle with a groin problem.
Appere was struck down by illness and missed the 1-0 loss to Arbroath earlier in the month before having to pull out of the warm-up at Alloa last Friday with an ankle knock.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with Evening Telegraph newsletter
However, Robbie is delighted with their progress and confident Appere and McMullan will be available to take on ICT at Tannadice on Friday in a crucial clash at the top of the Championship table.
Of their progress, the Terrors gaffer said: “Paul McMullan has trained and will be available for Friday night, which is good.
“Louis Appere should also be all right as he has done a full training session after a wee knock on Friday.”
There is also positive news for the Tangerines on the long-term injury front with key forward Nicky Clark making big strides in his recovery.
Clark had been ruled out for the season after a clash with Partick Thistle’s Stuart Bannigan last month but his return to action has now been revised.
Robbie is hopeful the 28-year-old will make his comeback before the end of the current campaign with a view to getting back up to speed for the start of next season after the former Dunfermline and Rangers man signed a new deal at Tannadice.
“We are hoping to get Nicky back before the end of the season,” he added.
“He has the protective boot off and is walking well. It would great for him and for us as a club if he can play again before the season ends.
To listen to the Tele’s football podcast, Twa Teams One Street, download from Apple Podcasts or Spotify – or head to thetele.co.uk
“I am not sure how far ahead of schedule it would be but when they initially did the operation it was definitely going to be next season.
“The surgeon was really happy with how the op went and now it looks like it might be a return for him before the end of the season.”
The loss of McMullan, Appere and Clark has been felt with United on a three-game winless streak in the league since that win at Firhill.
Clark’s importance to the team, in particular, is something Robbie is keen to ram home.
Clark notched against rivals Dundee at Dens back in November from a penalty, (see below), one of seven times Clark has found the net for United this season.
“We have missed him,” said Robbie.
“He is different to what we’ve got, with Peter (Pawlett) playing a bit wider and deeper and Rakish (Bingham) right up to the line.
“Clarky plays just off the line which does make a difference to us. From his perspective, it is just about getting him back and fit.
“If he could get some game time earlier than expected then it would help him be absolutely ready for next season.
“If you have had an injury and don’t manage to play before the summer then you can still be worried about it going into pre-season.
“That is why it would be great to get Clarky out there as soon as possible. It would give everyone a lift.”
American trialist Josh Perez scored the third goal in United’s 4-0 Reserve League win over Morton yesterday.
The 22-year-old former Fiorentina and Los Angeles FC attacker was let go by the MLS side earlier in the month, with United running the rule over him at Whitton Park yesterday where Logan Chalmers (2) and Finn Malcolm were also on target.
Tunisian midfielder Manoubi Haddad also remains on trial at the club. The 23-year-old has been with the Terrors for a fortnight now as Robbie weighs up his transfer options outside the transfer window.
A decision on both Perez and Haddad is expected to be made by next week.