Liam Boyce set to return for Ross County against Celtic

Liam Boyce is back in training for Ross County. Picture: SNSLiam Boyce is back in training for Ross County. Picture: SNS
Liam Boyce is back in training for Ross County. Picture: SNS

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Ross County boss Jim McIntyre admits he would have to be 'crazy' not to consider fit-again Liam Boyce for the League Cup semi-final against Celtic on Sunday.

The 24-year-old striker has been out since breaking his hand against Kilmarnock on December 29 but has resumed training with the rest of the squad this week ahead of the visit to Hampden Park.

Asked if he was willing to take a risk on his prolific Northern Ireland international, even by putting him on the bench, McIntyre was optimistic.

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Speaking at the national stadium, he said: “The advice we have been given is that as soon as he joins in training he is available for selection so I think you would be crazy not to think about putting Liam in.

“He has scored 17 goals in 24 appearances, I think, so with stats like that then - when you create chances against Celtic you have to take them - he has been a key player for us this year and it is just great to have him back in the squad.

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“Towards the end of the week we will know if we think he is capable of being involved or not.

“He has done a lot of fitness work on his own. He has not been able to do football movements basically because he has not been allowed any contact.

“It has healed really well. It is where it should be at this stage.

“It is normally a six-week injury and it will be five weeks on the Saturday and he still has a protective cast that he can play with.

“Obviously it is a huge match and he wants to be part of that.”

McIntyre will continue to monitor Craig Curran who has not yet recovered fully after missing out for six weeks through concussion earlier in the season.

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The 26-year-old went off with a similar problem when County lost 2-0 against Inverness on January 2 but returned as a substitute against Motherwell last weekend.

McIntyre said: “He is not back to full fitness. He is still having days where he is feeling quite fatigued and he is not training every day.

“But that’s the way that type of injury is and we are going on the doctor’s advice on how to get him into a regular pattern of training that can help him to recover from the bad head knock.

“He has also picked up a couple of other things with his immune system being quite low so that has not helped him either.”

McIntyre confirmed that defender Paul Quinn, who rejoined County on an 18-month deal on Tuesday after leaving Aberdeen, is available.

He said: “I am delighted to get Paul back. He was an integral part of what we did last year and he was my captain as well so it is good to have as many captains as you can in the team.

“The only concern with Paul is he hasn’t played for three or four weeks, so we will assess that.”