Caley Thistle forward James Keatings is back in full training and in contention to feature in tomorrow’s Championship match against Alloa Athletic.
Keatings, who joined Inverness from Premiership side Hamilton Accies in the summer, has been sidelined for the last six weeks after damaging ankle ligaments in training.
The blow disrupted a fine start to Keatings’ Caley Jags career in which he had netted three goals in his opening eight appearances, with the 27-year-old netting a double in a 5-0 victory over Morton in his most recent outing on August 30.
Having now completed his recovery process, Keatings is now pushing for a place in manager John Robertson’s side, with the Caley Jags boss encouraged by the attacking competition at his disposal.
Robertson said: “James is back in full training this week, vying for a place.
“It is good to get experienced players back. When we are looking at a potential front three or front four, we are picking between eight players for the front four – that’s a lot of options.
“That’s what we’ll need because strikers are notoriously up and down in form.
“When they’re hot they’re hot, when they’re not, they’re not.
“In defence you rarely need changes barring injuries or suspension, while in midfield we look at energy levels.
“Up front we are looking for guys that will come on to make an impact to let the people starting know they have got to do the business to retain their place.”
Keatings’ absence has opened a pathway for teenager Roddy MacGregor to be handed his chance, with Inverness-born youngster starting four of Caley Jags’ last six matches.
Another of Caley Jags’ young prospects – Brazilian winger Matheus Machado – came off the bench to net the third goal in Inverness’ 3-0 victory over Alloa in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup.
Although Robertson has been thrilled with MacGregor’s performances he feels he must remain mindful of his age, and he added: “Young Roddy has done very well stepping into the breach, as we expected him to do. He has performed well, but Roddy is still only 17. People forget that, but he is now into 16 or 17 appearances for the club.
“He was very unlucky not to open his account against Alloa last week and there was a little bit of rivalry with Matheus Machado in managing to open his account first.
“It’s competition, and there’s a little bit of rivalry there which is what you want.
“We saw last week again – Roddy gets better with more experience, but he will dip out for a rest at some point.”