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Boss Mcinnes Taking Heart From Returning Aberdeen Stars

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:03 AM

Dons boss Derek McInnes is anticipating the injury crisis to lessen for the trip to Hearts after the international break with at least four players set to return.

McInnes had eight ruled out through injury for the 4-1 defeat of St Mirren with Scotland international defender Scott McKenna also suspended.

McInnes is confident strikers James Wilson, on loan from Manchester United, and Stevie May will return for the trip to Tynecastle.

Frank Ross and Scott Wright are also set to be available after recent injury absences.

Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn will be “touch and go” for the match against league leaders Hearts after missing the win over St Mirren with a groin injury.

He said: “Wilson will be fine as he was touch and go for St Mirren.

“May will also be fine and we will have Ross and Wright for the build-up to the Hearts game.

“We pulled Niall out of the Northern Ireland squad (for UEFA Nations League games against Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and he will be touch and go.”

Former England Under-21 cap Wilson was ruled out with a hamstring injury on the morning of the St Mirren game while May was also a late call-off.

Ross has missed the last four games with a back injury while Wright has been ruled out for six weeks with ankle ligament damage sustained in training.

McInnes also hopes to have teenager Connor McLennan available after his goalscoring first start against St Mirren.

McLennan, 19, hit his first Reds goal to put the Dons 2-0 up but had to come off injured in the second half having suffered a dislocated shoulder when falling awkwardly following a tackle on Cammy MacPherson.

McInnes said: “Hopefully Connor will also be okay.

“With players having missed the St Mirren game hopefully we will be even stronger when we come back from the international break as we have some big games ahead of us.”

Aberdeen’s injury problems were intensified when defender McKenna was hit with a two-game ban retrospectively for a challenge on Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard in the recent 1-0 loss.

A fast-track notice of complaint and option to accept a two-game ban was issued against McKenna for the incident which was seen by referee Bobby Madden who gave no foul.

Aberdeen appealed the ban, which was upheld at a tribunal. McKenna, who is currently with the Scotland squad for games against Israel and Portugal, is also suspended for the trip to Tynecastle.

McInnes said: “The Scott McKenna suspension compounded what has been a tough week for us.

“We feel harshly treated by that. His suspension was the last thing we needed.

“We were hopeful we’d have had a couple more players back but they were clearly not ready in training (on Friday).

“We thought Wilson and May would be ready to play.

“That was on top of Niall’s groin occurring again.

“He felt it a bit on Thursday morning but we still thought he was going to be okay.

“However, he was one we were not going to risk.

“We will have a few more back before the next game and will hopefully be even better again.”

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