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Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin thrilled as Dons defensive duo near a return

Aberdeen defender Andy Considine is battling back from surgery.
Aberdeen defender Andy Considine is battling back from surgery.

It has been a long road back but there is light at the end of the tunnel for Aberdeen duo Andy Considine and Michael Devlin.

The central defenders are back in training and nearing a first team return for the Dons after injury plagued campaigns.

Stalwart Considine suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury in his side’s UEFA Conference League defeat to Qarabag in Azerbaijan in August last year.

Considine, who turns 35 on April 1, remains a valuable member of the Aberdeen squad, however, with Dons boss Jim Goodwin eager to tie the defender down on a new deal.

With his central defensive options thin on the ground the prospect of having Considine back in the fold before the end of the campaign has been welcomed by the new Aberdeen manager.

Goodwin said: “To have someone of Andy’s quality available for the run in towards the end of the season would be really good.

“Andy is doing great and is making really good progress.

“He is still a little bit away in terms of fitness wise but he is back out on the grass.

“He is working hard with the physio, coming in and out of the team in terms of the ball work functions that we are doing.

“However he is not completely back into full competitive training yet.

“But he is not a million miles away which would be a great boost because we are very light in that defensive area.

Devlin nearing a return to first team duty

Mikey Devlin during an Aberdeen training session at Cormack Park, on January 14.

Considine’s fellow centre back Devlin is also nearing a return.

The former Hamilton Accies captain last played for the Dons when featuring as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against St Mirren on December 5, 2020.

Devlin has played just 56 minutes in the last 21 months but was given a short-term contract extension to the summer by former Dons boss Stephen Glass.

Glass arrived and departed the Dons without seeing Devlin play a game but after overcoming hamstring and ankle injuries the Scotland international’s lengthy spell on the sidelines is nearing an end.

Goodwin said: “Mikey is maybe slightly behind Andy in terms of recovery.

“However he is working really hard, there is no getting away from that.

Watkins also stepping up his recovery

Christian Ramirez with Marley Watkins.

There was more positive news on the injury front with attacker Marley Watkins also back in light training.

Watkins, who has not featured since limping off in the Dons last league win, the 2-1 victory against Dundee at Pittodrie on Boxing Day, is also back in light training.

Watkins has made just 10 starts since joining the Dons in August and has scored three goals in 13 appearances so far this term.

He formed a good attacking partnership with leading scorer Christian Ramirez prior to his injury.

There is no doubt the American attacker would welcome the chance to link-up with his team-mate again as the absence of Watkins and sale of Ryan Hedges to Blackburn Rovers in January has contributed to a dearth of opportunities for the forward.

Goodwin hopes to also see the Wales international back in full training soon and is looking forward to having more options as he bids to finish the season with a flourish.

“Marley Watkins is working away with the physio as well. He is back out on the grass.

“It would be lovely to have two or three more additions.”

 

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