Buckie Thistle striker John McLeod is on the verge of a comeback after more than two years out with a hip problem.
The forward, who helped fire the Jags to the Highland League title with 46 goals in the 2016-17 season, has had three operations to try to get himself back to fitness.
Although all football in Scotland has been suspended indefinitely by the SFA and SPFL, McLeod looks like he will be able to return to training with Buckie in the coming weeks.
Victoria Park boss Graeme Stewart is in no doubt his side have missed McLeod while he has been on the sidelines.
Stewart said: “John has been back jogging and we hope to have him back doing some training soon.
“It would be a huge boost to have John back.
“Firstly John is a great goalscorer, but he’s also a winner, he won the league with us and he won a cup.
“So having him back would be a boost to the squad and to the supporters.
“In my opinion John is the best goalscorer in the Highland League, so anybody would have missed him. He’s in the same mould as Cammy Keith where he’ll score goals every week.
“When he’s out of your team you will struggle a little bit, so if he’s able to come back it would be a huge boost.”
McLeod last kicked a ball in November 2017 and has had three operations, including the same hip resurfacing op tennis great Andy Murray had in January 2019, in a bid to lengthen his career.
Stewart added: “John’s had three operations on his hip so we’re not getting carried away.
“But even a half-fit John McLeod could play for anybody in the Highland League.
“We’ll take things slowly and if he isn’t able to come back then we wish him all the best going forward.
“But we believe he can come back and John believes he can come back so hopefully it can happen.”
Since winning the Highland League three years ago Buckie have seen a number of players suffer long-term injuries and require operations.
Stewart has praised the club for finding the cash to pay for their stars to get the treatment they need.
Others like captain Kevin Fraser and winger Sam Urquhart have had lengthy spells out.
Stewart said: “The club has spent more than any other Highland League club on operations over the last two or three years.
“That’s because the club want their players to be fit and healthy.
“The club has maybe invested £15,000 to get these operations for John and that’s money you won’t see again, but as long as it gets John back fit and well then it’s worth it.”