Getting Stevie May back in side feels like a new signing, says boss McInnes

Stevie May.

Dons boss Derek McInnes today claimed Stevie May’s return from injury is like signing a new striker.

May will end more than two months of injury hell against Hibs tomorrow.

McInnes said: “Stevie is in the squad to face Hibs, which is brilliant, it feels like a new signing.

“Having watched him in training over the last few days he has been excellent.

“Stevie will get real peace of mind from that and having got training days under his belt will reinforce that confidence.”

A £400,000 summer signing from Preston North End, the 25-year-old represents the biggest cash outlay from McInnes in his five years at Pittodrie.

May has been struggling with an ankle injury sustained from a red-card challenge by former Dons skipper Ryan Jack in a 2-1 loss to Rangers on December 3.

May has missed nine games since then.

The Scotland cap made a brief comeback as a late substitute in the 4-1 Scottish Cup win over St Mirren but the ankle injury continued to cause problems.

He has not featured since that first game back from the winter break a month ago.

It was the latest injury blow for May, who was out for 14 months while he was with Preston.

He damaged three ligaments, the anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial cruciate, in a game against Fulham in November 2015.

Having returned to full fitness he signed on at the Reds in the summer and had pitched in with four goals before the ankle injury.

McInnes said: “It has been a frustrating few months for Stevie. It has just taken a bit longer and been more problematic than we would have hoped.

“This was a totally different injury from the other one he had.

“It was contact, it was a poor challenge in the game against Rangers.

“But we are also grateful and thankful that it is not going to be anything more than what it has been.”

Keeper Joe Lewis and full-back Daniel Harvie are the only injury absentees for the trip to Easter Road.

Skipper Graeme Shinnie is suspended and will also miss next Sunday’s home clash with Celtic.

Keeper Lewis underwent knee ligament surgery earlier this month and will be out for up to two months.

Newcastle United’s U20 World Cup winning keeper Freddie Woodman was secured on loan on transfer deadline day in reaction to losing Lewis.

Woodman has started the last two games ahead of Danny Rogers since arriving on loan.

McInnes said: “Joe saw the specialist earlier this week and he was really happy with that.

“So Joe is pushing on.

“Danny Harvie picked up a knock last week in the U20s game against Kilmarnock.

“He has been scanned and it is nothing we are too concerned about.

“He is still out for this weekend.

“Hopefully Danny will be able to pick up in training.

“If it is not this week, it will be the week after.

“Shinnie starts the first of his two game suspension, which is frustrating.”