Dec 6 2012 by Andrew McGilvray, Hamilton Advertiser
Hamilton boss Billy Reid has been given a massive boost with news that striker Jon McShane could be back playing in January.
It was previously feared that a knee injury would rule the former St Mirren hitman out for the rest of the season, but Reid says McShane – who ended last season as top club scorer despite joining in January – is responding well to treatment.
He said: “Jon is progressing quicker than I thought he would do, and I think the turn of the year will see him back, which is a big, big boost for me.
“It might be a bit premature to say that because the weather might set him back as well, in terms of how he can condition himself outdoors, but I’m sure that we will see him at the turn of the year.”
Reid is preparing his squad as best he can for a league and Scottish Cup double-header against Dumbarton at New Douglas Park on Saturday and the Bet Butler Stadium on Monday – weather permitting.
With heavy frost, snow and ice hitting Lanarkshire this week there is a massive question mark over Saturday’s game at least, but Reid says he’s taking his squad through their paces either way.
He said: “We’re just trying to prepare as normally as we can for both fixtures and see where it takes us. The situation we’re in at the moment is that for Saturday’s game, which is a league match, we’ve got Stevie May, Jonathan Page and Gary Fisher available, but for the Monday game we’re missing those three, so it’s quite strange how it has come about.
“Other than that the squad looks normal; Jon McShane and Kieran Millar are still out, and Stephen Hendrie still isn’t training at the moment, which is frustrating, but other than that the rest are OK.
“We’ve had a couple of sessions on our own park, we’ve been indoors at Ravenscraig – which is a fantastic facility – and at Hamilton Palace, so we’re pretty fortunate that we have really good facilities round about us.
“We were frustrated that the game against Dumbarton was called off twice, but I’m quite sure they will be the same. I would love the game to go ahead on Saturday, we’re raring to go and want to improve our home form – it hasn’t been great and we haven’t scored a lot of goals – but conditions may determine exactly what is on.”
The issue of league reconstruction is likely to come up again today (Thursday) as the SPL submit their proposals to the SFL, which is likely to include two top leagues of 12.
Either way, Reid is conscious of the need for change. He said: “One team going up from the First Division has never been healthy, and I think if they can tweak it and hopefully make it better for everybody then I would see that as the way forward.”