Triple boost for Dons as McGinn, Bryson and McLennan return to training ahead of Euro clash

Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes

Dons boss Derek McInnes admits winger Niall McGinn’s rapid rate of recovery from ankle ligament surgery has taken him by surprise.

Having undergone surgery on May 2, the initial prognosis was that Northern Ireland cap McGinn would miss both ties against RoPS Rovaniemi in the Europa League first qualifying round.

However, McGinn returned to full training yesterday and, barring any negative reaction, is set to feature in tomorrow’s friendly against Inverness Caley Thistle at Elgin’s Borough Briggs.

In a triple fitness boost for the Dons, summer signing Craig Bryson and winger Connor McLennan also returned to full training yesterday from injury.

Summer signing Bryson had been sidelined with ankle ligament damage sustained at former club Derby County, while winger McLennan underwent knee surgery in the summer.

All three are set to feature against Inverness and are winning their fitness battles to feature against RoPS in the first leg at Pittodrie on July 11.

Summer signing Curtis Main is also set to return to training today having missed the 2-0 friendly defeat of Peterhead with a thigh strain.

McInnes said: “We had Bryson, McGinn and McLennan all back training yesterday which was great for us.

“Hopefully there will be no reaction to training and we will see all of them at the game on Saturday.

“Niall has surprised us all.

“We did not expect him to be at this stage for another 10 days, it is brilliant and a credit to Niall.”

Striker Main, who signed a two year deal having rejected a new contract at Motherwell, was ruled out of the friendly against Peterhead but is expected to be fit to face Inverness tomorrow.

“Curtis reported on the morning of the Peterhead game and had a bit of tightness in his thigh.

“We never took any chances.

“But he will be fine to train today and be involved in the game against Inverness.”

McInnes was working to sign a midfielder before tonight’s midnight UEFA deadline to register players for the Europa League first qualifying round.

The Dons boss has resurrected his interest in Sunderland’s Dylan McGeouch.

Scotland cap McGeouch recently signed a one-year extension to his deal at the Black Cats but Sunderland boss Jack Ross has to offload players to secure cash for new signings.

If no new signing is secured before the UEFA deadline the Dons can still register a new player up to 48 hours before the first leg with RoPS as a wildcard.

“I am not saying I am expecting to bring anyone in (before the deadline) but we have a few irons in the fire.

“We have spoken to a few clubs about one or two different players.

“We will see if something lands for us because this European game has accelerated everything and put us under real pressure to get the team ready.

“You can see we are still light in the centre of midfield so in an ideal world if Bryson can come in that will help us.

“Hopefully we can get another one in but there are no guarantees on that.”