McInnes hopes McKenna’s recurring injury has been put to rest
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes hopes patience can pay off with performances from Scott McKenna.
The Dons deliberately slowed the defender’s rehabilitation from a hamstring strain suffered in August, his third in 12 months, in the hope a gradual recovery would pay off in the long term both for the player and the club.
With McKenna set to make his fifth appearance in a row at Ross County tomorrow, the Dons boss is optimistic the recurring issue has been put to rest.
He said: “We took a bit longer with the hamstring injury this time. It was much to my disappointment but having sat down with the medical staff we decided to take the longer route.
“We probably could have got him back earlier. I was keen for him to come back for the Hearts and Rangers games.
“He was on the cusp of that and if he had done his rehab in a certain way he would have been back, but we felt the longer term route was more beneficial for Scott and ourselves.
“We made a collective decision to go with a longer rehabilitation so we could break down the scarring from previous injuries so it was less likely he would suffer a recurrence.
“It didn’t help me because I could have been doing with him but for the longer term hopefully we can now see Scott getting a run at it.
“He can still get injuries elsewhere but we are a lot more confident the hamstring will be a bit more robust.”
“You can why people will see him as a mainstay”
McKenna’s return to regular duty has led to him receiving a recall to the Scotland squad for the final Euro 2020 qualifying games against Cyprus and Kazakhstan.
McInnes is delighted to see the player getting back to his best as he prepares to join up with Steve Clarke’s squad next week.
He said: “His age is good and he is only going to get better and you can see why he is so highly-rated and why so many people will see him as a mainstay of the national team.
“It is encouraging for Scott that the last two managers have seen something in him. He is naturally left-sided which is a bonus and he is a physical defender who can deal with that side of the game and he can also run like the wind so those things are a good make-up for a centre back.
“People can see a good player and other than the injuries and his season being a bit stop-start he has still put in a lot of big performances for us.
“There is still room for improvement and we speak to Scott regularly and there are one or two things he can do better.”