BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
MARK Stewart has jokingly promised to ‘chin’ Ray McKinnon after the Raith Rovers manager falsely suggested the striker may have one leg shorter than the other.
Stewart is currently playing through the pain barrier because of a troublesome calf injury but managed to take his tally for the season into double figures with the opener in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Queen of the South.
The 27-year-old’s fourth goal in five games ensured the Kirkcaldy outfit stretched their lead in fourth place to a comforting seven points over their opponents.
Stewart is revelling in the side’s current form and the attacking options available to McKinnon following the capture of the likes of Ryan Hardie, Harry Panayiotou, Louis Longridge and Aidan Connolly.
But the former Falkirk, Dundee and Kilmarnock marksman has had to put up with some good-natured ribbing after McKinnon mentioned recently that Stewart’s injury problems could be down to him having one short leg.
Stewart said: “I’ve not been training in between games – but I do not have one leg shorter than the other! I can clarify that.
“I got a text the other day saying ‘alright peg leg?’ and my missus has been calling me Peggy.
“I’m going to chin the gaffer for what he said!
“I’ve actually got a biomechanic imbalance in my body, so my right side is a wee bit out, which causes me issues up my right side.
“But I did get measured the other day and my legs are the same size!
“My pelvis is sitting a bit squint, so everything is a bit lop-sided. I’ve dealt with it for the majority of the season.
“I’ve got a bad back and so everything just gets pulled about. I’ve been dealing with a foot issue and a calf problem, and a hip issue.
“I’m more just maintaining myself during the week just now, just until I get over this wee spell.
“I use a chiropractor, and have done since I was 20. He keeps me right, so I’m just getting a bit of treatment with him and the physio just now, and just doing a bit of light training in between games.
“The most important thing is to keep myself ticking over during the week and be available for selection on match-day. I just need to get through these games and hopefully get into the play-offs.”
Moving into double figures for the campaign means Stewart is on track to achieve his target of bettering last season’s haul of 10 goals.
At one point the scoring burden looked as if it would rest solely on his shoulders, with the departures in January of Jon Daly and Craig Wighton leaving him as the club’s only striker.
However, with McKinnon having addressed that problem, Rovers have now scored 13 in their last six outings and Stewart insists the plethora of attacking options can only be good as they seek to clinch a play-off berth.
He added: “People think that because there wasn’t any other striker I would have been enjoying that, but you don’t.
“You need other strikers round about you and there’s obviously competition for places now, which is good.
“It’s good for the club because if we’re winning then it reflects good on all of us.
“The more players that are fit and available, the better it is for the squad and we’re picking up now at the right time.
“We’re on a good run just now and we’re beating all the teams we need to be beating. It’s put a bit of distance between us and the other contenders for fourth place.”