COVE Rangers striker Mitch Megginson is delighted to have a "fighting chance" of returning in time to face Buckie Thistle tomorrow in the Breedon Highland League.
Top scorer Mitch has been sidelined since suffering a thigh  injury during the first half of  last month's 4-2 away league victory over Clachnacuddin.
But the 25-year-old has been able to train this week and could be back in action in what is likely to be a festive feast of football at Victoria Park.
Mitch said: "The manager is the one who will make the final decision but I'm pleased I at least have a fighting chance of playing.
"I felt okay after returning to training but it's now a case of waiting to see how the injury reacts.
"I'm hoping I will be fine because the away clashes with Buckie tend to be among the most competitive and enjoyable games of the season."
The former Aberdeen striker praised Cove physio Jenni Butler for ensuring he is close to making a comeback ahead of schedule.
Mitch said: "I wouldn't be this far down the line without Jenni.
"She has put a lot of time to help me recover, which has been much appreciated.
"I've worked with a lot of physios during the course of my career and Jenni is one of the very best."
Cove suffered their first league defeat of the season - 1-0 away to Fraserburgh - while Mitch was out of action.
The clash with Buckie is their first league outing since that one, last weekend's scheduled home meeting with Rothes was called off because of high winds.
Mitch confirmed they are all desperate to get back to winning ways in the league but know that won't be easy against a Buckie side who are always tough nuts to crack on their own patch.
He said: "It was frustrating watching what happened to us at Fraserburgh knowing there was nothing I could do to help.
"We lost an early goal, which didn't help.
"Hopefully we won't do that at Buckie as well because it will be tough enough against them anyway.
"Since joining Cove I've found Buckie one of the most difficult places to go to if you want a win.
"We know it will be a huge challenge but it's one we have to show we can handle if we want to stay among the sides fighting for the league title."