Ross County hope to welcome on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Nathan Baxter back to training after next month’s international break as he steps up his recovery from a dislocated shoulder.
Englishman Baxter picked up the injury during pre-season shortly after joining from the English Premier League club, with the 20-year-old having returned to Stamford Bridge to undergo his rehabilitation.
Although it was initially feared he would be out until late November, Baxter has moved ahead of schedule in his recovery process, and is now joining in light goalkeeping sessions.
Co-manager Steven Ferguson confirmed Baxter is due to return to Dingwall to resume training with the Staggies after the forthcoming international break, which follows County’s home game against St Johnstone next weekend.
Ferguson said: “Nathan is working really well. He’s back with his gloves on. He’s not here, he’s working with the Chelsea medical team, but he’s back in with the goalkeeping staff at Chelsea.
“He’s only falling from his knees at the moment.
“He’s getting the top end stuff there, and he’s a top professional. He will be doing everything to the letter.
“Nathan will be up at the game on Saturday. He has been to every home game, and he will stay overnight with the guys on Friday.
“It keeps him in the loop. He will have a part to play moving forward.”
County midfielder Lewis Spence is nearing a return to action having also been sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, while forward Lee Erwin and Simon Power also featured for the reserve team in Monday’s 2-1 defeat to Kilmarnock reserves.
The Staggies still have a number of absentees for tomorrow’s trip to Kilmarnock however, with Callum Morris sidelined with a groin injury picked up on international duty for Northern Ireland, while Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs and Sean Kelly are also out along with Baxter.
Ferguson added: “We’ll be stronger when all these guys are fit and it will give us real options all over the pitch.
“Everything is moving in the right direction regarding injuries, but it is just that slow process.”
Killie have recovered after a shaky start under new manager Angelo Alessio, with the Ayrshire side’s success under his predecessor Steve Clarke still fresh in Ferguson’s memory.
He added: “There was always going to be a transition period for them.
“They have changed their manager, and it’s a different style and nationality of manager.
“There’s always going to be that bedding in period.
“We understand we are going to the team that finished third in the Premiership last year, and were playing
European football this year.
“We are under no illusions that this is going to be a really tough game. We will give Kilmarnock every respect they deserve. It’s the same group of players that did so well last year.”