Derek McInnes is hopeful Aberdeen fans have not seen the last of Graeme Shinnie in a Dons shirt.
Shinnie suffered ankle ligament damage following a late challenge by Kilmarnock’s Stuart Findlay last weekend and had expected to be missing for the remaining Premiership games.
However, despite an initial prognosis that he would face a minimum of four weeks on the sidelines, Shinnie wants to be back to play against Hibernian in Aberdeen’s final game of the season.
Dons boss McInnes is optimistic he makes a speedy recovery, even to a play a small part in Aberdeen’s push for Europe before his likely summer departure.
McInnes said: “He got the X-ray at the weekend and that was clear. He got scanned on Monday and we got the results on Tuesday afternoon and it showed up ligament damage on his ankle.
“The prognosis was that he will be out for four to six weeks. If you stuck to that rule of thumb then he will be out for the season. Graeme is adamant he will be back for the Hibs game.
“It has improved over the last couple of days but it is still very difficult for him at the minute. Hopefully, if we can get the improvements in him – I like how positive he has been and he remains positive he can be back for the Hibs game.
“I take encouragement from he is feeling. He is just hoping to help our challenge before the end of the season and that task of trying to get into Europe.”
Greg Stewart is another who is sidelined at the minute and will miss tomorrow’s game against Rangers, along with Tommie Hoban, Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn. Shay Logan has returned to training and Lewis Ferguson is available against after suspension.
McInnes added: “He (Stewart) has a sciatic nerve issue. Anyone who has had such issues will know how hard and extremely painful it can be. It is difficult to overcome.”
Both Aberdeen and Hearts were punished by the Scottish FA this week, for a flare-up involving multiple players from both sides in their match at Tynecastle on March 30.
The Dons admitted the charge and were fined £500, while Hearts contested it and were found against by the disciplinary panel. They were also hit with a £500 fine.
McInnes added: “We expected to be punished because it had already been alluded to. So we take our punishment and move on. It is something you see quite a lot. I don’t think it was too much out of the ordinary.
“You see it in a lot of games but they are coming down quite hard on confrontation now and we are aware of that and we expected to be fined.”