Edinburgh promotion can ease Danny Jardine's injury pain
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The 24-year-old made his first start for the Citizens in more than two months in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Dumbarton, an outcome that saw the Capital outfit progress to the play-off final 5-2 on aggregate and consign the Sons to League Two after the summer.
City pit their wits against divisional rivals Annan Athletic in the first leg at Ainslie Park tonight before the return fixture at Galabank three days later.
And former Stirling Albion player Jardine says he couldn't have timed his two-month lay-off from medial ligament damage any better with Alan Maybury's men, potentially, 180 minutes from plying their trade in Scottish football's third tier next season.
Jardine, part of the side that lost to Dumbarton in last year's final, has been beset with injury for most part of the 2021/2022 campaign, a recurring hamstring problem ruling him out for the best part of five months.
However, he is now in a positive mindset ahead of the club's two biggest games in their 94-year history.
"You could say I've not had much luck with injuries this year," Jardine told the Evening News. "But my own personal woes would more than make up for it if we were to get promoted on Friday night. I couldn't be rushed back because of the nature of the injury so it can dent your confidence a little.
"But I've managed to build up some more game-time and it was great to start my first match at Dumbarton since March. So, I'm feeling physically better and more than ready to play my part tonight and Friday if selected.
"I definitely feel better now, but I have to admit I felt sore on Sunday after the game. At the same time, it was just great to be back involved again. I've been desperate to play and help the team so getting any minutes on the pitch at this time of the season is a bonus.
"The gaffer has shown a lot of trust in me by putting me in having just come back from injury so that's reassuring. We've got a great chance of promotion and we have to grasp it."
Jardine admits, on a personal note, he was pleased to see the Galabankies prevail over Forfar as Tony Wallace's 88th-minute penalty secured a 2-1 victory on aggregate following a 1-1 draw at Station Park.
Jardine added: "I'm glad it's Annan and not Forfar. Some think different but that's just my opinion having played both this year. We just have to make sure we do our job. We've had a good look at them so we know what to expect. We've played them four times already this season.
"We fell at the final hurdle last year so we're desperate to make sure it doesn't happen again. There are some real big games to look forward to next season if we can get up. Seeing Dunfermline go down at the weekend was a surprise so there are teams in there who play good football in front of big crowds."
Tickets for tonight are priced at £10 and are available on the gate. Kick-off is 7.30pm as the game is being shown live on BBC ALBA.