Noel Hunt looks set for a return to 1st team action against Rangers this weekend, after recovering from an ankle knock that has kept him out for the last 4 weeks.
Hunt damaged his ankle ligaments during the 3-2 win over Motherwell on the 16th of December, after leaping to score United’s winner and then landing awkwardly and having to be stretchered off.
With 8 goals already this season, the 24-year-old is currently Dundee United’s top goal scorer, but captain Barry Robson has almost caught up to his tally with 7 goals himself.
Craig Levein was confident last week that Hunt would be part of the squad to face Saint Mirren in the Scottish Cup, but he suffered a “set back” on Wednesday afternoon during a light training session, that delayed his comeback by another week.
Fortunately the Saint Mirren cup clash was postponed until next Tuesday, giving Hunt more time to recover from his ankle injury and hopefully he will help take Dundee United into the 4th round of the competition – which would mean a trip to Inverness to take on Charlie Christie’s Caley Thistle.
However, before the Saint Mirren match, Dundee United have a difficult trip to Ibrox on Saturday to take on a Rangers side who will be hurting after Dunfermline beat them 3-2 on Sunday to send them crashing out of the Scottish Cup.
One player who definitely wont feature in that match is defender Christian Kalvenes, who is out with a knee injury which is taking longer than expected to clear up, but new signings Morgaro Gomis and Jon Daly are expected to play at least some part in the game.
It was expected that Rangers would have Walter Smith & Ally McCoist confirmed as their new management team before the Dundee United match, but the SFA have refused to let Rangers speak to the Scotland manager and that might delay his appointment until the start of next week.
The SFA agreed to postpone the Dundee United v Saint Mirren match for 9 days, after the flu, injuries and several players out on loan, meant that Craig Levein didn`t have enough players to put out a team for the Scottish Cup match.
Saint Mirren boss Gus McPherson was very impressed by the SFA’s decision, claiming they had set a “dangerous precedent” by giving Dundee United a reprieve over the match.
“If it had been an SPL match, it would have been played. Nothing against Dundee United, they just made their case to the SFA,” said MacPherson.
“We all have injuries and illness. It was an incredible decision that sets a dangerous precedent.”
The match is now scheduled for Tuesday the 16th of January, with a 7:45pm kickoff.