Peterhead manager Jim McInally hopes Gary Fraser can come back stronger than ever after discovering his knee injury shouldn’t require surgery.
The midfielder dislocated his patella in the Blue Toon’s 1-1 draw with Montrose at Balmoor on December 22.
However, after Fraser was scanned last month it is only now the Buchan outfit have discovered the extent of the problem.
Although it is still likely to take a number of months for the 26-year-old to get back to full fitness, if surgery was needed Fraser could have been facing a significantly longer period on the sidelines.
Boss McInally said: “The report says that he should be starting to feel a lot better, which he is.
“The ligaments around the knee were fine according to the report, other than one that was a wee bit traumatised.
“But it should be well on its way to repairing itself without the need for surgery.
“Greig Smith our physio has spoken to Gary and it’s now all about building up the muscles around the knee like quad muscles and others.
“The report says no surgery is required and although it will still be quite a while before we can get Gary back he can start rehabbing it now.
“I think he is able to jog now, he must have been in agony at the time, but it seems it has popped back into place so it’s not too bad.
“We’ll get him back and hopefully this will give Gary the incentive to come back even fitter.
“That’s always been the issue with Gary, how fit you can get him, because his ability has never been in question.
“It’s all about fitness for Gary, particularly with the way modern football is.
He must have been in agony at the time.” Jim McInally
“He’s pretty upbeat about things and hopefully this little bit of good news will give him the enthusiasm required to do all his rehab work and come back stronger.”
No requirement for surgery means Fraser can now focus on his rehab work.
McInally is pleased the former Bolton, Partick Thistle and Hamilton player now knows what is ahead of him.
The SPFL’s longest serving manager added: “It’s good that we now know and if surgery isn’t required then it means we haven’t really lost any time with him in terms of rehabbing.
“If surgery had been required it would have been a worry because Gary would have lost out on a couple of months worth of rehab.
“But his knee has probably now had all the rest needed so it’s now a case of rehabbing and getting the muscles around his knee built up.
“If he’s able to come back without surgery it would be a good thing.
“It’s some decent news for Gary, although it is still a long term injury, but hopefully we can get him back relatively quickly.
“If it had been a cruciate and surgery was required you’d probably be talking about another year from now so it’s a big bonus to know that’s not the situation.”