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Boost for Ross County as hitman Ross Stewart set to face Motherwell

Ross Stewart, left.
Ross Stewart, left.

Ross Stewart could be in line to return for Ross County at Motherwell next Wednesday after stepping up his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Stewart has been sidelined since the turn of the year, after suffering the injury in County’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone on December 29.

The 23-year-old, who is the Staggies’ joint-top scorer with 11 goals, had been dealt a setback earlier this month after briefly returning to full training.

Although County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell is wary of rushing Stewart back, he has not ruled out the possibility of the former St Mirren forward featuring when the Dingwall men return to Premiership action at Fir Park next week.

Kettlewell said: “We’re working hard with Ross. He’s had a good Sunday and Monday there, and hit a couple of milestones in his rehab programme.

“The next stage is to get him out on the pitch again. He’s very upbeat, just desperate to get back playing. We just need to be sure we’re not pushing him too far, too soon.

“In terms of putting a game on it, I’d love to say it’s Motherwell but I can’t be sure. Sure as anything, if Ross is fit and able to be involved at Motherwell, he’ll be taken into consideration.”

Kettlewell says Stewart’s return from a two-month lay-off will come as a further boost to the ninth-placed Staggies, who moved eight points clear of the relegation play-off spot with Saturday’s 2-1 win at Aberdeen.

Kettlewell said: “It has been too long for us, in the sense that he’s been brilliant this season.

“He is a young guy who is progressing in his career, a breath of fresh air for us all to watch, given his improvement over the course of the months.

“It is important we get him back involved in the group because he gives us a brilliant option in a couple of different areas of the pitch.

“Hopefully we can push him in the right direction and get him back sooner rather than later.”

Kettlewell revealed midfielder Joe Chalmers is also nearing a comeback, having been sidelined since January with an ankle injury.

He added: “There is positive news on Joe – he is back running and kicking a ball. Hopefully by the middle to end of this week he will be fully involved in a training session again.

“He’s hit all the milestones set out for him, so fingers crossed we can get him back involved in full training in the next couple of days.”

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