Aberdeen have received a fitness boost with Scott McKenna ready to return to training after three months out.
Manager Derek McInnes is targeting a resumption of training from the Covid-19 shutdown on June 10.
He confirmed Scotland international centre-back McKenna will start working with his team-mates when the Reds return. The 23-year-old has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring tear in the 2-0 Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat of St Mirren on February 29.
Due to lockdown restrictions, McKenna has been working on his rehabilitation alone. Now the defender is ready to take the next step in his comeback by resuming training.
McInnes said: “Scott will be there or thereabouts. By now we would be hoping to get him doing ball work. However, it will be difficult because we will only be able to do certain work with him.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that from today Scotland will move to Phase 1 of easing lockdown restrictions.
The SPFL and SFA were today set to meet Scotland’s public health, sport and wellbeing minister Joe Fitzpatrick. Scottish football officials will push for a return to training on June 10 when the current shutdown of Scottish football at all levels officially ends.
McInnes and the Dons are targeting that date for return. However, winger Matty Kennedy may be a short term doubt for a return having picked up an ankle injury.
McInnes said: “Matty had a little ankle issue going on with some of the work he has been doing. He might take a week or two with the physios but there is nothing sinister there. We would imagine that the full squad would be able to return. They have all been doing their work and there are little aches and pains there.
“We have not had the chance to see them in the flesh. However we would have to assume the majority, if not all, including Scott will be ready to do the necessary work in June.”
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After almost two months of full training in lockdown, McInnes put his squad on a close season programme in anticipation of a June return. He accepts even when they do return to Cormack Park players will be working individually or in small groups.
He said: “Everyone is ticking away on their own programme at the minute. We put them on more of a close season programme and left them to it with the emphasis being on the 10th or 11th June.
“When we go back I think we will be restricted in what we will be able to do. But at least we will be able to have eyes on the players and be able to talk to them. We will be able to get them moving again.”