MOTHERWELL boss Stuart McCall has been boosted by the news that centre-back Shaun Hutchinson will not require groin surgery.
The 21-year-old underwent an MRI scan on the strain that had been a hangover from an outstanding season last time around that saw him play 33 times for the Steelmen.
But the news that he has avoided surgery could free him up to play for McCall as early a week on Saturday in Stevie Hammell's testimonial against Everton.
The Motherwell gaffer said: "Shaun has had an MRI scan and although we feared the worst the news is positive.
"There is no real damage there and the consultant's view is that with a week to 10 days of rest he should be ready to go again.
"Shaun is an important part of our defence and we are hoping for another big season from him. From that point of view we will take our time and make sure the injury is cleared up but to be honest the news is a lot better than I had hoped for."
Following the washout of Well's friendly with Rapid Bucharest, McCall is crossing his fingers that the July monsoon will not wipe out Saturday's trip to Ayr United.
He said: "I would have given all the lads 45 minutes each against Bucharest and then maybe moved that up to 60 for some at Ayr.
"Then we would have looked at a full game for a few of the boys at Raith but now we will have to have a fresh look at the game time they get.
"The problem is that with the weather being so bad there is now a concern over the Ayr game. But we still have a couple of days to go."