BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
FALKIRK captain David McCracken is on the comeback trail after undergoing an operation on his head during the close-season.
The 34-year-old had surgery to remove a cyst from the top of his head and was unable to take part in full training as he recovered.
The former Dundee United and St Johnstone defender returned to pre-season training later than his team-mates and has been playing catch-up after initially being restricted to non-contact work.
However, the former Scotland under-21 internationalist played the full 90 minutes of a bounce game against Musselburgh Juniors on Monday night and is closing in on a top-team return.
Manager Peter Houston explained to Capital City Press: “Cracks got a cyst cut out of his head over the summer and he missed the pre-season games.
“He couldn’t train for the first week or two of pre-season because obviously it was a delicate area.
“He could do light jogging but he’s behind, with regards to fitness but also behind in game-time.
“We played Musselburgh Juniors on Monday night and it was good for him. He got 90 minutes.
“It’s good to see Cracks back and he came through the game fine, heading the ball, etc.
“We’ll get him another couple of games and he’ll be up and running and in contention to try to get a first-team pick.”
Meanwhile, Falkirk could farm out Scott Shepherd ahead of the new season after Stenhousemuir made an approach over the striker’s availability.
The 20-year-old has previously enjoyed loan spells with Stirling Albion and Brechin City and, with John Baird, Myles Hippolyte, Nathan Austin, Lee Miller and Bob McHugh ahead of him for a starting berth, looks set for another spell away.
Houston added: “Stenhousemuir have been asking to get Scott Shepherd and I think it might be a good thing for Scotty to go out.
“I think it would be beneficial, because he’s not in the first-team, although he’s sometimes on the bench.
“He’d be better playing competitive football but if I also make it a development loan he can still train with us and play in the development league.
“What I want him to do is prove he can play in the first-team at Stenhousemuir and stand up to the challenge and standards another manager demands.”