Dons skipper Ryan Jack admits he’s happy to be back in the hunt to play at Hampden this weekend.
Jack has returned to full training after two months on the sidelines due to having surgery on an injured knee.
If all goes well, the 24-year-old is expected to make the Dons squad for Saturday’s Betfred League Cup semi-final clash with Morton in Glasgow.
Jack said: “It feels like it’s been a long journey for me.
“I’ve gone from playing every week in the European games at the start of the season to having to sit out for six to eight weeks.
“It’s great to get back in training with the rest of the lads.
“Hopefully, I can keep building on my fitness and sharpness and get myself back in the team.”
That might prove difficult for Jack given that the Dons started with the same side in their last two league games, away to Kilmarnock and at home to Ross County, and won both 4-0.
Jack accepts that means he may have to accept playing a supporting role for the clash with Morton.
“That’s the great thing about this season, there is real competition for places,” he said.
“The team is in a great run of form and it’s tough to just get into the squad.
“All I can do is work as hard as I can in training to make sure I’m ready to do my best when I do get back on the pitch.”
Dons boss Derek McInnes confessed he’s just happy to have Jack back involved at all.
He admitted it was a blow to lose their skipper, who had been in outstanding form, despite playing through the pain barrier for a spell after suffering the knee injury in their Europa League qualifier against Maribor in July.
McInnes said: “Ryan was really at the top of his game in the Europa League matches.
“European ties do that with quality players like Ryan. They are a bigger challenge than playing in domestic matches, they involve a lot more thought.
“Ryan was in a very good place and it was such a shame for him and us that we lost him because of the knee injury.
“It will be like signing a new player outwith the transfer window having Ryan back involved.”
McInnes praised the rest of his squad by proving they can cope without their captain if they have to.
Celtic were the only side to beat the Dons in the eight matches Jack missed.
McInnes said: “We have got to be able to deal with losing key players.
“Thankfully, we have managed to do that.
“Ryan and Jonny Hayes were out at the same time, but we kept winning games.
“The rest of the squad deserve credit for their efforts.”
Defender Ash Taylor is a major doubt for the cup tie after suffering a thigh injury in the win over County.