BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Raith Rovers are hopeful Craig Wighton could be back training as early as this week following fears the on-loan Dundee striker had suffered cruciate knee ligament damage at the weekend.
Stark’s Park boss Ray McKinnon has expressed the Kirkcaldy club’s relief following news that the Scotland under-19 cap did not suffer a career-threatening injury in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Hibernian.
Play was held up for a considerable length of time after Wighton was hurt in a second-half challenge with Lewis Stevenson before the teenager was stretchered off in obvious pain.
A concerned Stevenson later visited his opponent in the Stark’s Park treatment room to pass on his best wishes before Wighton was assessed at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee on Saturday evening.
That check-up and further tests by Rovers sports scientist Stuart Phin yesterday have allayed fears of possible cruciate ligament damage or even broken bones, and revealed nothing more than ‘significant bruising’.
McKinnon explained: “It’s great news about Craig. The Doc said to me after the game on Saturday that he thought it might be his cruciate ligament, which would have been terrible for the lad.
“But it’s a lot, lot better than that and seems to be just bad bone bruising, which is obviously still painful but a relief.
“He’s got two massive stud marks on his shin and knee and it looked a really bad one at the time, but thankfully not as bad as we feared.
“Fingers crossed, we’ll see if Craig can maybe get out running again on Thursday and see how he is then.”
Stevenson’s last-ditch tackle on Wighton prevented an almost certain goal and both players acknowledged the injury had been an accident when Stevenson visited the Raith striker on the treatment table after the full-time whistle.
McKinnon added: “It was clear there was no malice in the challenge. The Hibs boy came right through him in making the tackle but there was no blame.
“And it was great of him to go and see Craig after the match.”