Derek McInnes is delighted to have James Wilson available for tomorrow’s clash with Hearts.
But the Aberdeen manager has praised his youngsters who stepped up to the mark while the Manchester United loanee and others have been out injured.
Wilson, pictured, missed the Dons’ last game before the international break – the 4-1 home win against St Mirren.
Before that he had shown touches of class in fixtures against Motherwell, Hibs and Celtic.
The 22-year-old is back in the running to start tomorrow at Tynecastle when the Reds face the Jambos.
He is not the only player who has returned to fitness.
Fellow striker Stevie May and wingers Niall McGinn and Scott Wright are also available again.
Frank Ross is still out with a back problem while Scott McKenna is suspended. Mark Reynolds and Tommie Hoban are long-term injury absentees.
McInnes is pleased to have Wilson back and hopes that now he is clear of injury he can become a key player for the Dons.
The Pittodrie gaffer said: “We could have taken a chance with James against St Mirren.
“But we were reluctant to do so because he is going to be a key player for us and we want to give him every chance to be at his best.
“Thankfully we managed to get a lot of work into him last week during the international break.
“This week he has had a full week’s training so it was clearly the right decision to make.
“The onus, with James and Stevie out, landed on Sam Cosgrove for the St Mirren game and he got two goals.
“But you can never have enough attacking options so it’s brilliant to have so many back in this week.”
With Wilson, May and McGinn missing the St Mirren game, 19-year-old Connor McLennan was drafted in up front beside 21-year-old Cosgrove.
The partnership worked with Cosgrove getting a double and youth academy graduate McLennan also netting.
McLennan is not the only home-grown youngster to feature this term.
Fellow striker Bruce Anderson has made nine first-team appearances and hit an injury time equaliser against Rangers on the opening weekend of the Premiership season.
McInnes has been pleased by the way his youngsters have stepped up to the plate when required in the absence of more senior players.
He added: “The good thing is that we have younger ones who have come in and done well.
“Bruce Anderson was on the pitch and young Connor McLennan starts and scores. When you’ve got the younger ones there and you have certainty about the level of performance you’re going to get from them.
“It means when players come back the whole squad swells and you have a lot of options.
“The most important game at the time was the St Mirren game and we dealt with it.
“Sam got his goals, Connor got his goal, young Max Lowe got his first goal against St Mirren.
“The only downside was not getting another clean sheet which we were close to doing.
“We would have taken that result and performance considering the difficulties we had before the game.
“Connor was similar to Frank Ross’ performance against St Mirren in the League Cup (4-0 win in August’s second-round tie).
“Frank was outstanding that day and so was Scott Wright who we are only just getting back after that.
“By and large the young players like Frank, Scott, Connor, Bruce and Dean Campbell have done particularly well when called upon.
“That is what you always hope for from your younger ones is that they deal with the game and can become an important part of the squad.”