Iain Vigurs has stepped up his comeback for Ross County after rejoining his team-mates for training.
The midfielder has not featured since the November 10 defeat to Dundee United but Staggies co-manager Stuart Kettlewell is hopeful of seeing the former Caley Thistle man back in the dark blue of County soon after he featured for reserves on Monday.
He said: “Iain was back on the pitch yesterday and played 45 minutes for the reserves against Kilmarnock.
“The plan of attack for Iain is to push him on as much as we can and keep pushing boundaries with him. He needs pitch time training and game time. He had a little problem with the after-effects of training with his foot but it has gradually gotten better and now it’s time for him to kick on.”
The injury situation is improving after a weekend break for County and Kettlewell hopes the rare chance to rest up will benefit the Championship league leaders for the run-in.
He said: “Sean Kelly has started running again which is more good news for us. He played excellently against Motherwell and did exceptionally well until suffering a setback from the groin surgery he had.
“Ross Draper is still feeling the effects of the knock he took against Caley Thistle. We speak about him every week. He has been so important for us this season and every club in this league would like a player like him in their side.
“Ross Stewart has had a scan and he has suffered a grade one tear in his thigh. We’ll try to get him back as soon as we can as he was showing signs of the real quality he has.
“It was our first weekend off of the season so we felt it was a good opportunity to take stock and get a couple of days rest into the players.
“We’re not forthcoming with days off for the players so hopefully it will be of benefit to the players. We had some tough games against Caley Thistle, Partick and Ayr and we feel we have come out of that spell pretty well.
“The mental demands are much more difficult than the physical demands and the players came back in good condition for training yesterday. We got some fresh legs and some fresh heads back. Whether it was good timing or not, I’ll tell you in a couple of months.
He added: “We set our stall out to build a squad with players who have been over the course before alongside a hungry group of players who want success.
“We’re hoping it works for us but we’ll see if we’re vindicated for it at the end of the season.”