Peterhead boss Jim McInally is thrilled to have Jack Leitch back from injury.
The midfielder is in contention to make his Blue Toon return against Falkirk on Saturday after three weeks on the sidelines because of torn ankle ligaments.
The initial prognosis was that the 24-year-old would be out for six weeks. But Leitch has defied that prediction and return to training last week, just three weeks after sustaining the injury.
The former Motherwell and Airdrieonians player also played for half an hour on Friday night in a bounce game against Brechin.
Buchan gaffer McInally said: “Everybody that was involved came through it fine.
“Jack Leitch came on and played for the last half an hour and didn’t have any problems.
“It was a good workout and I was really pleased with how we played and we could have scored plenty of goals.
“I’m happy to have Jack back. It’s been some recovery, it’s only been three-and-a-half weeks.
“Maybe his prognosis wasn’t quite correct, but Jack does so much work to stay fit, that has probably hurried up the process.
“Jack deserves credit for that because six weeks out has only become three weeks.
“He’s a player that you notice the contribution he makes more when he’s not in the team.
“The wee spell out might have done him good as well because he’s seen us playing and may have learned one or two things from it.
“But he’s a player who when he’s in the team knows the contribution we expect him to make.”
Another pleasing thing for McInally about last week’s 1-1 friendly draw with Brechin was to get 90 minutes under defender Scott Hooper’s belt.
The summer signing had suffered a stuttering start to life with Peterhead due to an injury which affected his ankle and lower shin, which limited him to just three appearances in the first few months of the season.
However, the 24-year-old made his comeback in the 2-1 loss to Airdrie the weekend before last.
Hooper also came through unscathed against the Hedgemen and McInally added: “Scott played the 90 minutes which was pleasing, he tired a bit towards the end, but that was to be expected.
“Scott has put his problem behind him and it’s good to have back.
“When he was out it was difficult for him because he’d never had more than a couple of weeks out in the past.
“The good thing is that he’s such a fit boy, when he’s come back to playing games he’s slotted in well.”
On the flip side Peterhead are still set to be without midfielder Simon Ferry and defender Cammy Eadie for this weekend’s trip to Falkirk.
Ferry is closing in on a return from a groin problem, but McInally won’t risk him on the Bairn’s artificial pitch.
Meanwhile, Eadie is back running after tweaking his medial ligament.