Hamilton Accies boss John Rankin says captain Dylan McGowan will tell him when he’s ready to return, but if he plays against Ayr on Saturday it will be testament to his own professionalism.
The Australian defender hasn’t trained since February 24, the day before a 4-1 defeat at home to Championship leaders Queen’s Park, and suffered a calf injury in that game, which saw him sit out the 0-0 draw against Arbroath at New Douglas Park on March 3.
You are reading: Hamilton Accies captain Dylan McGowan’s return would be down to his ‘professionalism’, says boss
Hamilton welcome fourth-placed Ayr to New Douglas Park on Saturday, hoping to steal a march on a Cove Rangers side one point and a place above them in eighth, and stretch their one-point lead over basement side Arbroath.
Rankin wouldn’t be drawn on a time frame for the on-loan Kilmarnock star’s return but says there are others on their road back.
“If Dylan makes Saturday it would be down to his professionalism and how he lives his life,” said Rankin.
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“He hasn’t trained since the day before the Queen’s Park game, which is frustrating for us but equally for him.
“Dylan has been a real leader since he came in, so if we can get him anywhere near ready for Saturday then obviously we will try.
“As I say, he hasn’t trained since the day before the Queen’s Park game, and before that he played Inverness on the Saturday [3-0 win], hadn’t trained before the Tuesday night [2-1 home win over the same opponents] and got through the game with the calf issue, so I’m sure Dylan will put his hands up and tell me when he’s ready.
“I’ve not looked beyond Saturday and I’ve not asked any questions beyond this week, so whether he can train next week or not I don’t know.”
Rankin added: “Lucas De Bolle missed all of last week with a bug, but has been back training since Monday.
“There were a few that missed last week, but it has been a day or so with colds or coughs, which we didn’t want to go through the squad.
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“Marley Redfern got through 60 minutes of a reserve game last week and he had a wee issue, but should be back in training now.”
Defender Brian Easton also goes into the squad, after his wife gave birth to their first child last week.
Rankin said: “Congratulations to Easty, he’s been a father for the first time and it’s a life-changing moment for him and his family, but he’s back to work.
“I’m delighted for Easty and he’s ready to go. He’s back in and he’s vibrant amongst the group.
“His confidence is very high and that’s good for the squad.”
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