Chris McKee finally made his long-awaited comeback from injury as a second-half substitute in Edinburgh City’s 4-0 victory over Elgin, only to see any chance of more game time wiped out over the following two weeks.
A trip to Forthbank to face Stirling Albion was called off five minutes after it was due to start because of snowfall, while the bottom-of-the-table clash with Cowdenbeath scheduled for last Saturday was another casualty of the weather.
The subsequent thaw and the artificial surface at Galabank means tomorrow’s encounter with Annan Athletic shouldn’t be in much danger of not going ahead, which is just as well for McKee, who needs a run of games to recapture fitness and, as he admitted himself, form.
“The boys were all saying at training on Tuesday that they’re itching to get back,” he said. “We hadn’t been able to train or really do anything with the weather so it’ll be good to get back to a game.
“Obviously, the game was called off when the boys were in the tunnel at Stirling on the Tuesday and then, on the Thursday, Oriam and most other places weren’t open so we weren’t able to do anything.
“It wasn’t a shock when the Cowden game got called off when you saw the amount of snow. Given that they can’t sweep the snow off the park at Ainslie Park because it would move the black rubber, it was no surprise.
“A few boys did their own stuff in the gym when they could but some gyms were closed. It was difficult to do anything so it’s been good to get a touch of a ball again.
“For myself, it’s been a frustrating season on that front. I’ve not really been fit all season with recurring injuries and my form as well – I’ve not really played that well either. I’ve just had to remain patient, get minutes whenever I can and try and make a good impression.”
McKee believes the root of his injury problems goes back to last year when he feels he pushed himself to play when he perhaps shouldn’t have.
“I’ve had a wee niggle in my back,” he explained. “As soon as I came on against Elgin I managed to strain my back so that kind of sums up the season really.
“Last year, I played for a couple of months after I tore my abductor muscle and I probably shouldn’t have done that. I’m now getting all these niggling injuries so it’s a wee bit frustrating.
“I’m back training now, though, and I’ve got a few sessions under my belt which is good. Now I’m just hoping to get some minutes when I can, but I can’t have any complaints as the boys have been doing really well in the last few games so I’ve just got to remain patient.”
The enforced break came after City’s best performance of the season and their biggest victory since being promoted to the SPFL. McKee is hoping being idle hasn’t killed any momentum.
“After a good win, you want to play again quite quickly after that,” he admitted.
“The whole team played really well so it was frustrating, especially in the manner in which the game was called off at Stirling when the boys were about to go out. Then Cowdenbeath which is a massive game for us as well, it wasn’t ideal but it was freak weather and you can’t really help that.”
Annan were beaten last time out at home although, having found themselves 3-0 up, City let them back in to it with two goals that ensured a more nervy finish than was necessary. One-goal defeats in the other two fixtures mean there is likely to be little between the two again tomorrow.
“It’s been the case against quite a few teams this season – we’ve actually performed well for the majority of the game but not got the result,” said the defender. “It was good to get a win against them last time, but even then we conceded those two goals towards the end and allowed them back in to it.
“It’ll be another tough game tomorrow down there – it always is, home and away so we’ll need to put a decent performance in to come away with anything.”