Caley Thistle manager John Robertson feels winger Anthony McDonald will add valuable competition to his side as they approach a hectic catch up schedule in the Championship.
McDonald has returned for a second spell at Inverness after signing a deal until the end of the season following a short spell with Spanish side Cordoba.
The 19-year-old previously enjoyed a loan stint with the Highlanders when he was a Hearts player in 2019, making 14 appearances and scoring once.
Robertson feels the opportunity to bring McDonald in was a welcome one, having lost fellow wide player Kai Kennedy to Raith Rovers during the January transfer window.
Robertson said: “We were looking at either bringing in a striker or a winger, just to give us more options up front.
“Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney are not far away, so that will strengthen our defensive side. We’re strong in midfield at the moment.
“We just felt up front, with the amount of games we’re going to have to cram in before the end of the season, we needed another option up front.
“We were looking at a striker, but couldn’t get him in, so we looked at free agents and who was available.
“We have a flexibility where both Shane Sutherland and Miles Storey can both play wide, as well as through the middle.
“Anthony gives us a little bit more competition and he was available.
“We’ve offered him a deal through to the end of the season.”
McDonald was a highly-rated prospect at Tynecastle, but his progress has been blighted by a succession of injury problems.
Robertson is hopeful he can unleash his potential at Caledonian Stadium, adding: “He’s around the same age as Kai Kennedy, Daniel MacKay, Cameron Harper and Roddy Macgregor. He is one of those lads who has played 30-plus games for Hearts in the Premiership, so he is capable.
“His career has stalled through injury when they couldn’t get to the bottom of why his hamstring and lower back were problematic. It seems it is just an alignment issue, corrected by insoles.
“Last time here he suffered a bit of a freak injury at half-time against Morton and didn’t really feature after that.
“He had a slight back issue with Hearts, which he has now sorted by putting insoles into his training shoes and match boots.
“He has bags of ability, but tried his luck in Spain and it didn’t quite work out.
“We know what we’re getting and he knows what he’s getting.
“It is an opportunity for the young man to try and show what he’s capable of.
“If he shows what he showed last time here, we’ll have a good player adding good competition to our front three.”
McDonald is short of match sharpness, but having trained with Salford City and Raith Rovers, Robertson is hopeful he can be involved in tomorrow’s Championship game at home to Alloa Athletic.
Robertson added: “He has come through the medical no problem and, if we get a negative Covid-19 test back he can join the squad tomorrow.
“He is fit and has been training. He may be short of match fitness, but that’s not to say he can’t make an impact from the bench.
“Our training is high intensity so we will find out exactly where he is, and look to build his fitness up so that if we ever do get to play a game he’s available.”