Dons boss Derek McInnes insists his decision to drop leading scorer Sam Cosgrove at the weekend due to injury concerns has paid off.
As the striker is fully fit and ready for tonight’s League Cup quarter-final against Hearts.
McInnes took the gamble of starting Cosgrove on the bench for the 2-0 defeat of Livingston as the striker had been struggling with a groin issue.
With the Dons hampered by an injury crisis, McInnes did not want to risk exacerbating Cosgrove’s condition with the cup clash looming.
Cosgrove came off the bench against Livi to net his 11th goal of the season and is set to return to the starting line-up tonight.
McInnes said: “If we didn’t have the midweek game against Hearts it may have been a case of taking more of a risk with Sam.
“He had only trained for part of a session one day last week.
“So from the St Johnstone game to Livingston Sam had very little training behind him.
“We spoke to the medical staff about the situation.
“We are trying to manage the situation so we do not put more players at risk.
“We had one or two touch and go for Saturday and decided not to risk Sam from the start.
“Thankfully that proved the right decision because we still won the game and Sam is fully fit and available for Hearts.
“Sam is all right and there were no ill effects from the game against Livingston on Saturday.
“He trained fully yesterday.”
Cosgrove’s availability for tonight is the only fitness boost for the Dons as none of the six players who missed the win at Livingston through injury are close to returning.
Midfielders Funso Ojo, Craig Bryson and Stephen Gleeson are all ruled out.
Scott Wright is this week set to undergo surgery in Glasgow on a cruciate ligament injury that will rule him out for the season.
Wright suffered the injury during training ahead of the draw with St Johnstone.
Centre-backs Scott McKenna and Ash Taylor are also out.
McInnes said: “There will be no change in the injury situation for Hearts with no boys that were out for Livingston coming back.”
It was initially feared on-loan attacking midfielder Jon Gallagher had suffered a fractured tibia in the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone recently.
However, X-rays revealed there was no break. Gallagher recovered in time to face Livingston.
Boss McInnes is keen to open talks with Atlanta United about the possibility of extending Jon Gallagher’s loan deal.
The 23-year-old’s loan at Pittodrie from the United States side expires in January but McInnes is keen to extend that for the rest of the season.
Aberdeen will hold talks with Atlanta technical director Carlos Bocanegra about the possibility of extending the agreement.
Former Rangers and USA international defender Bocanegra oversees all football operations including player loans and transfers.
Gallagher has started 10 games for Aberdeen this season and started all six ties in the Europa League.
On extending the loan, McInnes said: “There is a possibility.
“However, there still has not been any real discussion. If there is an option to keep Jon for the full season, like we discussed at the outset, that’s something we would be keen to do.”