Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes hopes to have defender Mark Reynolds back in the fold this week.
Reynolds has been sidelined for the domestic campaign after dislocating his shoulder during the club’s Europa League run but McInnes hopes the player will get clearance to rejoin his team-mates in full contact training this week.
With the Dons enjoying a perfect start of eight wins from eight matches in the league, McInnes will not rush the defender back to action but hopes Reynolds will be ready to play following the international break in October.
The Aberdeen manager said: “Mark is seeing the specialist to get the all-clear but he is not ready for a game. We still expect him to be a key player for us but it was important that when he did come back the team was in a good frame of mind.
“As much as we would love to have him back available it was crucial that it wasn’t the case that we needed him back.
“We want him available because he has proved to be a very good player for Aberdeen but the squad has shown it is strong enough to cope with that absence.”
While Reynolds awaits the green light to step up his fitness recovery, McInnes is targeting another cup final appearance for the club.
The Aberdeen manager led the club to League Cup success in 2014 but last season’s defence was ended in the semi-finals by Dundee United.
McInnes cites the cup exit to United and the fourth round Scottish Cup defeat by Dundee as the main disappointments of a strong league campaign and is eager to give the Dons supporters another cup final day out this term.
He said: “We stressed the importance of the cups in the last two years.
“Of the four we have played in so far we made it to three semi-finals and went on to win the League Cup two seasons ago.
“So, when we didn’t progress the way we wanted to last season then there is that disappointment there.
“I think that overshadowed a lot of the good of last season and we are determined to make improvements this time.”
Championship side Hibernian stand between the Dons and a place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup as Aberdeen get their cup campaign under way at Easter Road tonight.
McInnes said: “Tony Docherty and I saw them on Saturday and I like the way they play and use the full width of the pitch.
“They have players who are all confident on the ball and can make things happen.
“They haven’t lost a league goal at home this season and only conceded away to Rangers and Dumbarton, so they have a good backbone.
“You can see that they are side which is only going to improve and that has been the case since the start of the season.”