Joe Lewis hopes he has timed his return to first team action to perfection as he chases Scottish Cup glory and second spot with Aberdeen.
The goalkeeper feared his season was over when he suffered a knee injury against Rangers at Ibrox in January but he made his return well ahead of schedule in Saturday’s 4-1 win against St Johnstone at Pittodrie.
Lewis is determined to make the most of his return, starting with tonight’s trip to Motherwell.
He said: “We worked hard with the physios and I wasn’t rushed back at all. I got back ahead of schedule really and it feels really strong.
“Initially the scan suggested that it was going to be the end of the season but as you went along it just felt good. When we spoke to the surgeon after the operation he said it wasn’t quite as bad as the scan suggested.
“A combination of the physios working hard and that meant I could get back sooner.
“Obviously it’s the business end now so it’s great to be back. They eased me in on Saturday as well, I didn’t have much to do.
“We go to Motherwell now and that’s our main focus but there’s some big games coming up. Looking forward we’ve got Hearts away and then the Scottish Cup semi-final and hopefully the final after that.
“They’re all massive games and ones as a player that you want to be a part of so I’m delighted to be back fit and ready for the run in.”
Motherwell stand between the Dons and a place in the Scottish Cup final next month but it is tonight’s trip to Fir Park on league duty which is uppermost in the Aberdeen goalkeeper’s thoughts.
Lewis knows all too well about the qualities of the Well ranks but he believes the chance to play on quality surface at Fir Park rather than the bobbly and rutted Pittodrie pitch is an opportunity he and his team-mates will relish as they bid to strike a psychological blow to the Steelmen ahead of next weekend’s semi-final at Hampden.
He said: “Even with Louis Moult leaving they haven’t been badly affected which shows they are not a one man team.
“They are still strong and they have a lot of strengths that we have had a look at and we will try to nullify them and impose our game.
“It will be nice to play on some grass as well so hopefully we will be able to produce our best football.
“Of course it will be a boost for the semi-final if we win although Fir Park is always a tough place to go and play.
“They have got a great work ethic down there as they all work hard for each other and it’s always tough against a team like that.
“The Old Firm have gone there and have been troubled and no one has walked over them on their own pitch.”