FALKIRK manager Peter Houston has breathed a sigh of relief after it emerged summer signing James Craigen has not suffered a serious ankle injury.
Craigen left the Falkirk Stadium on crutches on Saturday night after going over on his ankle deep into injury-time in the 3-1 victory over Dundee United.
Moments earlier the former Partick Thistle and Raith Rovers attacker had provided the cross for Myles Hippolyte to ease the Bairns in front with a heavily deflected finish.
The 25-year-old’s fitness was giving Falkirk cause for concern but Houston has revealed the former Edinburgh University student could even have an outside chance of being involved against Ayr United on Saturday.
Houston said: “James turned his ankle on Saturday. There isn’t any break or anything like that and he’s recovering well from it already.
“The swelling has to go down but the physio has told me he thinks he’ll be jogging about on Thursday, which is great.
“I don’t know about the weekend, but it’s obviously not as bad as we feared.
“Initially when you get these things, and I used to get them all the time, it’s really sore. But some people recover quicker than others.
“It surprised me that he would be out jogging on Thursday. This weekend might come too soon for him but it gives me hope for the following week.
“He was on crutches when he left here on Saturday, to take the weight off it, but he’s binned them and he’s walking. It’s just a case of seeing what the next few days bring.”
Meanwhile, Houston insists he will not rush another new signing, Nathan Austin, back from injury.
The 22-year-old, who joined the Bairns in January but was loaned back to previous club East Fife for the second half of last season, suffered a dead leg in the under-20s’ 4-1 defeat to their Aberdeen rivals last Tuesday and missed Saturday’s win over Dundee United.
However, with Bob McHugh, John Baird and Lee Miller currently in top form up front, Houston insists he will be cautious with the young striker.
He added: “Nathan had a dead leg after he got smashed against Aberdeen last week and had to come off in the first-half.
“The dead leg took about a week to get there but his hip flexor is now sore and we’ll not rush him.
“It’s a case of getting him 100 per cent because we’ve got Bob, Lee and Bairdy.”