Stephen Robinson admits he is savouring the prospect of reintroducing David Turnbull to his in-form Motherwell squad.
But the Fir Park manager will be cautious with the midfielder’s comeback from summer knee surgery.
Turnbull spoke about his recovery this week, reporting good progress in recent weeks but not setting any time frame for a return.
The 20-year-old netted 15 goals in 30 Ladbrokes Premiership games to help turn Motherwell’s previous campaign and they have continued to shine in his absence, sitting third in the table ahead of Sunday’s visit of Rangers.
Robinson said: “I had a joke with David during the week, he said he won’t get back in the team.
“Listen, the quality that David has got, to have him available for selection again to add to what we have already got, would be tremendous.
“But we have to be careful, there’s no timelines. The importance is the long-term impact on his career. We have to make sure he’s 100 per cent right.
“Everything is going great at the moment and it will be a massive bonus when he is back.”
Motherwell returned to third after winning three games in eight days, scoring eight goals and conceding none.
That was despite suffering from an outbreak of a bug that hit several players.
And Robinson believes they will have even more energy when they take on Steven Gerrard’s men after admitting his concerns over the bug before last weekend’s win over Hearts.
“I don’t think anybody believed me,” he said. “I think everyone thought I was talking rubbish.
“The medical staff handled it very well. We had boys training in the gym on their own away from the club and we managed to keep it from spreading full scale.
“Peter (Hartley) and Devante (Cole) were on the bench, Liam Polworth had struggled with it the week before, Christy (Manzinga) missed out. So there were people who were not 100 per cent and we managed to get a very good week of results.
“So hopefully everybody is right at it again and our energy levels will be even higher.”