Alex Rae: Injuries Update

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By James Hunter
Alex Rae is hoping to have more depth in his squad ahead of Saturday’s game against Ayr United in the Ladbrokes Championship. The Saints head to Ayr searching for their first league win of the season and the manager’s options have been boosted with the return of injured players to training this week while some have gotten valuable game time under their belts.
Gary MacKenzie, Ben Gordon and Jordan Stewart all featured for the Under-20s as they defeated Rangers Under-20s 1-0 on Tuesday night, with Stewart scoring the only goal with a stunning free kick just after the hour mark.
Speaking to saintmirren.net the manager said: “It’s important that we get Gary up to speed – he needs some minutes under his belt. He’s been working the last couple of weeks to try and get to this stage. We have young Jordan going to get some minutes and Ben Gordon as well, so we’re hopeful of getting these guys back sooner rather than later.”
The Saints were dealt a blow on Saturday in the loss to Hibernian when Lewis Morgan limped off at half time. The winger arrived for the team photo on Tuesday in crutches but the manager isn’t too worried about where he is at: “I think he’s a lot more freed up than he was in the previous 24 hours.
“He’s able to put a bit more weight on it and we’ll just assess it over the next couple of days,” he said. “Gavin [the physio] has got him in tomorrow just to see if it’s any better and we’re hoping that it’s progressing the way it has done in the last couple of days.
“It’s not ideal,” he continued. “The good thing about it is that he’s a brave kid, he’s physically strong and we’re hoping the pain alleviates itself over the next couple of days.”
There was encouraging news from the St Mirren Training Complex this week as Rocco Quinn returned to training following his injury against Livingston in the Betfred Cup last month. The midfielder was stretchered off near the end of the 3-2 win and the manager is taking it one step at a time with his return.
“This was his first day today. He was charging about in training – blowing out his backside – but it’s good to see him back out there. It’s just a case of Rocco getting more and more confident as the days go by because it was obviously a bad injury. He stepped up again today and we’re hopeful that come tomorrow he’ll be able to go again.”
When asked if he would be in line to make his first team return against Ayr United on Saturday, the gaffer said: “It’ll probably be too soon. We don’t want to rush him back and he has a relapse, so it’s important that we monitor how he is progressing and we’ll get the minutes in over the couple of days leading to the weekend but I think the weekend is definitely too soon.“
The manager admitted it was important to get players back from injury as soon as they are ready, to help give the team the opportunity to mix things up. He said: “We were conscious of the fact that we were going to go with a smaller squad this season because we wanted to try and get some better quality in and we’re hopeful that we can kick on.
“We need everyone up front and centre so that we have options to change things about because we’re a bit limited at the moment in terms of who we can bring on from the bench and the quicker we get these senior players up-to-speed the better it will be for us.”