Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass insists he will not risk rushing back defender Andy Considine from knee surgery.
Scotland international defender Considine went under the knife in late August to fix cruciate ligament damage.
Considine, 34, this week reached a milestone in his rehabilitation when returning to running on grass at Cormack Park.
Glass said Considine stepping up his rehab is a ‘brilliant’ boost for the defender and club.
However he confirmed there is no ‘hard and fast’ timeframe for the influential defender’s return to action.
Glass will not push Considine to return and will allow him ‘the space to get himself right’ after major surgery.
He said: “Andy said right at the start that he needs his space to get himself right.
“That’s what we’ll give him.
“Once we are getting closer we will maybe start nailing time frames.
“I’m sure Andy has a time frame in his head.
“I’m sure the physios gave him one and he has moved it already.
“There’s nothing hard and fast.”
‘Now he’s got his boots on’
Considine has been sidelined since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a European tie on August 19.
The Scotland cap caught his studs on the atrocious pitch in the 1-0 Europa Conference League play-off first leg loss to Qarabag in Azerbaijan.
It was a hammer blow to Considine who is fourth in Aberdeen’s all-time appearance list.
Now in his 19th season in the first team, Considine has racked up 569 games for Aberdeen.
Only club legends Willie Miller (797), Alex McLeish (693) and Bobby Clark (595) have played more times for the Reds in the club’s 118 year history.
Long-serving Considine, who made his Scotland international breakthrough last year, is out of contract at the end of the season.
— Andrew Considine (@AndyConsie4) December 6, 2021
Glass confirmed Considine, a League Cup winner with the Dons in 2014, is now training every second day at Cormack Park.
He said: “Andy was out walking before doing his bits and pieces but now he’s got his boots on.
“He’s out there running and it’s a different feeling altogether.
“It’s brilliant for him first and foremost.
“However it is brilliant for the group to see Andy out there and positive news for the club.”
Defensive injury crises begins to ease
Considine’s long-term absence has been part of a defensive injury crisis at Pittodrie.
Glass’ defensive problems are easing with left-back Jack MacKenzie set to return to action for tomorrow’s trip to St Johnstone.
MacKenzie, 21, has managed just 45 minutes of action in the last eight games.
He has been ruled out of seven of those eight games but started in the 1-0 loss to Dundee United last month.
Having suffered a recurrence of the ankle injury MacKenzie was substituted at half-time at Tannadice.
He missed the next three games but is back fit and available for selection for Perth.
Scotland U21 international Calvin Ramsay has missed the last seven games with a thigh injury. Glass this week confirmed the 18-year-old is ‘getting closer’ to a return.
Meanwhile Scotland international centre-back Declan Gallagher has returned from a six game lay off due to a hamstring injury.
Summer signing Gallagher, 30, was an unused substitute on his return in the 4-1 defeat of St Mirren at the weekend.
No complacency against St Johnstone
Aberdeen are on a two game winning streak and will face a St Johnstone side that has taken just one point from the last possible 12.
However Glass will take nothing for granted at McDiarmid Park.
He said: “Any team that goes to St Johnstone complacent will get beat.
“We will not be going there complacent. We know the challenge. We know how tough defensively they are.
“It is going to be a tough nut to crack for us but we are well capable of doing it with our forward players and our threat from set pieces as well.”