Kane nears contactless limit 

Kane Ritchie-Hosler’s season has so far consisted of just three and a half hours of football. An ankle injury delayed his season debut until September at Inverness where his appearance off the bench was his first 31 minutes of competitive football.  Then a meniscus injury in training in the same leg as his ankle injury put him out until mid November. He made his return as a sub against Dundee United, before starting the two home league matches against Inverness and Arbroath.   Then 57 minutes into the 3-0 home win over Arbroath he dislocated his shoulder and required surgery again.

Now after three completely different unrelated injuries Kane can partake in training and James McPake says that the 21 year old can take part in the shooting, the crossing, he just cannot bump into anybody yet. The manager is pleased to see the progress in his player:-

“He is looking great but you can see that he is getting frustrated because he wants to do more but we are including him in everything we can.  I don’t know when it is, but by the time his time is up he will be in great condition just to go.  He will obviously have to go through the final checks banging in, falling but he is having a bit of fun out there and we are involving him as much as we can. That’s good for us as well because it is another good player on the training pitch.”

Kane’s frustrations are fully understood by his manager who himself has experience of being out as an injured player with the same type of shoulder injury and can sympathise with him. James’s frustration increases however as he watches Kane demonstrate his admirable skills:-

“You don’t need contact to put the ball on the striker’s head when he is crossing them in for them or when he is shooting. He has goals to his game, dribbling past albeit mannequins but he is still getting it out of his feet. He is very good with both feet and a clever player. That is what frustrates me.”

Out of team but not out of mind

James related his observations with Dave Mackay last week when he saw just the group of injured players out early doing a bit of running. 

“The running had started before we got down and in that group you had Andrew Tod, Alex Jakubiak, Matthew Todd, Kyle Benedictus and Rhys Breen all doing work on your training pitch and I was thinking imagine you had that group to pick from. That’s football but hopefully we will get them back pretty soon.

“You forget about them at times because come game week you are focussing on who is available for the Saturday, who is likely to be back. If so who do you need to protect because they are maybe carrying a knock. At times they are at the back of your head and then sometimes they just take you by surprise. When you walk on the training pitch and you see them motoring away you are thinking ‘woe I’d quite like to have them to choose from’. They will be back and do their bit for this club between now and the end of the season.”

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