DOM THOMAS would've been disappointed to miss a Rugby Park return but is keeping his fingers crossed for the good health of former team-mates.

The 24-year-old left Kilmarnock in the summer to sign permanently with Dunfermline after a successful loan spell last season and is set to go head-to-head with his former employers this evening.

The Premiership club's manager, Alex Dyer, has confirmed that they will play the Pars after forfeiting their opening tie with Falkirk last Tuesday.

On the Friday prior (October 2) it emerged that six positive cases of COVID-19 were identified at Kilmarnock, and their first-team squad were told to self-isolate for 14 days.

Their Premiership match with Motherwell that evening was postponed and, after deciding not to field a youth team to play their match with the Bairns last Tuesday, the League One side were awarded a 3-0 win.

Yesterday, however, Dyer stated that he has four senior outfield players and a goalkeeper to select for this evening, with the rest of his squad supplemented with youth players.

That means Thomas and Iain Wilson, who also moved from Rugby Park to East End Park in the summer, will return to their old stomping ground looking to maintain Dunfermline's impressive start in Group E.

They top the section after winning at Dumbarton and at home to Falkirk on Friday, where Thomas created both goals for captain Euan Murray.

Speaking to Press Sport after the game at Dumbarton, where there was still doubt as to whether tonight's match would take place, Thomas said: "It's a shame and I hope the boys that have got it are OK first and foremost.

"I just think there could be a lot of that in the coming months with teams; it's so hard to handle the virus just now. Hopefully we do get over it, we get fans back in and everybody's safe and healthy.

"I've still got a few good mates there so I've been speaking to them. They're just frustrated at being stuck in the house for 14 days, which is not ideal, but the main thing is they keep fit and healthy and they get back out playing. I'm sure that's all they want to do as well.

"We just need to be careful what we're doing outwith football, keep ourselves to ourselves and in our bubbles. The last thing we want is another break so we'll be looking after ourselves off the pitch and keep ourselves fit and healthy, take every game as it comes, and hopefully get more three points on the board and good performances."

He continued: "It is just good to get back playing and to start with a win. That was the main thing and I felt, especially first half, we performed very well.

"We played some really good football and were creating a lot of chances but we've still got a lot to build on, as obviously it's our first competitive game in six months. You can see the positive signs are there so we'll take a lot from this game.

"That was the first 90 minutes out there for a lot of us but the thrill is just to be back playing football and we've got games coming thick and fast, which is a good thing for us. At the end of the day, we're just glad to be back playing football.

"I don't think we've actually lost a game, even the pre-season games, which is good, you want to build that winning mentality.

"That dressing room's full of winners and that's what we want to do – win all season and take the club as high as we can possibly go."

Speaking to his club's website yesterday, Killie boss Dyer said: "A couple of the senior boys have trained today with the young lads. We assessed how the older boys got through that training session  to see if there was any negative reaction.

"At the moment I have five back; four outfield and one goalkeeper. They’ve had their ECG and we’ve gone through all the right protocols to make sure they’re ok, checking that their hearts and lungs are healthy and in good condition.

"It was obviously disappointing to have to forfeit the Falkirk match, but the welfare of the kids was the most important thing. It would have been wrong to play 18-year-olds against fully grown men, they’re not physically mature enough for that on their own yet.

"Half of them hadn’t even played any reserve team football. With five first team players in, at least we can give Dunfermline an actual football match.

"I’ll work with their coach to see which ones are best placed to make that step up to the first team. With senior players alongside them, they’ll be ok."