Barrowman boost for Pars
THE Pars' bid to stave off relegation could be boosted by the return of hitman Andy Barrowman against Motherwell this Saturday.
The striker last appeared in the 3-1 defeat to the Steelmen at Fir Park in late January where he suffered a nine-centimetre calf tear that was feared could sideline him for eight weeks.
However, the 27-year-old has proved a fast healer and has set his sights on a return three weeks ahead of schedule.
It will be a big boost to gaffer Jim McIntyre who saw Barrowman hit three goals in four matches before being struck down with the calf injury.
McIntyre told Press Sport, "Andy has just finished off work with the physio for a couple of days then we expect him to be back in training with the boys today (Thursday).
"If he comes through training he might play some part and be involved on Saturday."
McIntyre was desperate for some good news on the injury front after centre half Kevin Rutkiewicz was ruled out for a month with an ankle problem.
The former St Johnstone centre half missed last Saturday's 3-1 defeat to his old side after limping off at half-time against Celtic the game before.
Scans have shown up ligament damage in his ankle meaning Rutkiewicz is back on the sidelines after spending the first five months of the season on the treatment table with a hip injury.
McIntyre said, "It is disappointing to lose Kevin as he has done well for us but it sums up the luck we've had with injuries this year and we just have to get on with it."
The gaffer knows a vast improvement will be needed if his players are to secure their first home win of the season against Motherwell this weekend.
"They are very good side and have done exceptionally well this season so it's another tough game.
"The first game at East End Park where we lost 4-2, you've got to say they had a bit better quality than us on the day.
"The previous game a couple of weeks ago was really disappointing because we'd come off the back of a great win against Kilmarnock and Motherwell went down to 10 men and we couldn't capitalise on that."
The manager knows his players have to make it up to the supporters who travelled to watch the dismal performance in Perth.
"The players let themselves and a huge travelling support down last week with their performance.
"We need the fans big time, we all need each other, it is as simple as that and what they saw on Saturday, the players know themselves, it wasn't good enough.
"To be honest I didn't see that type of performance coming as they've been excellent of late in terms of what they've given us.
"The most important thing is not to panic.
"I'm sure we'll get the right reaction. We've got to be in touching distance to Hibs when the split comes but there are winnable games before and after the split where we can pick up points."
McIntyre is hopeful Jordan McMillan will be fit to return this weekend while Kyle Hutton has been struggling with a chest infection.