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Martindale hopeful Anderson will return for Livingston this season

The striker is making his recovery from an ankle injury.

David Martindale hopeful Bruce Anderson will return for Livingston this season SNS Group

Livingston manager David Martindale believes striker Bruce Anderson could still have a part to play in his side’s Premiership run-in, despite initially fearing he would be ruled out for the season.

Anderson suffered an ankle injury on the training ground the forced him to miss his side’s defeat to Hearts before the break.

Martindale admits that he thought at the time he would be panning to be without his top scorer until pre-season, but is now optimistic he may be in contention before the league is wrapped up.

“He is actually progressing really well,” the manager said. “I was there when the injury happened and I saw it and I thought he had no chance of making (his return before) the end of the season.

“The physio is not going to thank me for this but I am looking at it and I am seeing where Brucie is. He is walking well, the swelling is down and his range of movement is good.

“Obviously we have not put any pressure on that, he has not been out running on the park but I think that will maybe come next week.

“He is healing a lot quicker than I thought he would heal and there is maybe an outside chance we could see Brucie back on the park before the end of the season.”

Martindale’s immediate attention is on the fight to reach the top six, with half of the league tightly packed in the middle of the table.

Livingston play St Johnstone away this weekend, before facing Motherwell at the Tony Macaroni Arena in the final match before the split. The manager doesn’t think anything can be predicted and the top six and bottom six won’t be known for sure until after the two games.

“I do think it is going to go down to the fixture against Motherwell and I think most clubs will be similar, we all have two games to break into the top six,” he said.

“And with it being so tight, I think the two games will be crucial.

“But if you don’t win your first one, you are giving yourself a lot to do in the second fixture so it is about concentrating on the St Johnstone fixture.

“It is almost like a two-legged cup-tie, home and away albeit it different opponents but you are focused on the first game.

“If you can pick a result in the first game you give yourself more of an opportunity to get into the top six. It is a bit like cup football to be honest.”