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Thistle ace set for second knee op

By Craig Christie

Lewis MacKinnon, Sam Urquhart, Buckie Thistle v Cove Rangers, Buckie Thistle FC, Highland League
Lewis MacKinnon, Sam Urquhart, Buckie Thistle v Cove Rangers, Buckie Thistle FC, Highland League

SAM Urquhart will have a second operation on his crocked knee, making his recent Buckie Thistle comeback a short-lived one.

And with goalkeeper Daniel Bell and midfielder Ceiran McLean still waiting on surgery, the Jags injuries continue to mount up.

On the flip side of the coin, captain Kevin Fraser resumed light training this week, Hamish Munro is also on the road to recovery while star striker John McLeod is off crutches following two hip operations and could be fit by April.

Boss Graeme Stewart and his player assistant Lewis MacKinnon are preparing the rest of their squad for Saturday's home match against champions and current league leaders Cove Rangers.

Centre back MacKinnon, himself recovering from an achilles problem which has dogged him this term, even did a turn as an emergency striker in Buckie's last game against Brora Rangers but will be back in a familiar slot for the visit of the powerful Aberdonians this weekend.

He has high hopes for Jags throwing a spanner into the works of Cove's aspirations to win back-to-back league titles.

"It's another good fixture for us," he said. "Cove will be tough, they are flying again this season.

"We will train hard this week and come up with a game-plan that will hopefully make us compete and get a result. I think we have been competing with the teams above us in the league, take Forres aside (a 7-2 defeat) which was a shocker.

"Defensively we have looked pretty strong we are just either not creating enough or we are missing silly chances when we do so we just need to get our conversion rate up in the last third. I'm confident of getting result this week and I think we are due one against a top six side so hopefully it can be this weekend."

Buckie's game at Strathspey was postponed last Saturday, as was Cove's home clash with Rothes.

This weekend is Jags' first opportunity to bounce back from their double cup exit against Formartine and Brora, the latter a tie where MacKinnon started at centre forward.

"It was just an experiment. It was a surprise when I got to the ground and the manager came up with the idea but I played up front for many years so I know how to play the position.

"It worked OK in the first half because we were creating chances but I went back after the break. It is an option but we kind of lack something when I am out of the defence so we probably won't look to play that against Cove. We will start at the back, get ourselves tight and then take it from there."

Skipper Fraser is set for a new year return, around the same time as winger Scott Adams who is recovering from a hamstring tear.

As for Urquhart, MacKinnon revealed: "Sam has torn his knee cartilage so he is going to require an operation. We are just waiting on some dates but it is a setback and I don't think you will see Sam properly until next season."

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