ISAAC OSBOURNE has opened the door for a return to Partick Thistle next season as he continues his recovery from a serious ankle injury.
The midfielder was a stand-out for Alan Archibald's side following his switch from Aberdeen last summer, but saw his campaign come to a premature end after he suffered ligament damage in the abandoned clash with St Johnstone at Firhill.
Boss Archibald admitted in SportTimes last week that he would have to monitor Osbourne's fitness before deciding whether to offer him a new deal to remain at the club.
Ozzy said: "My recovery has been going well, I have been using the facilities at Coventry and the physio Dave Hart has been looking after me.
"I have been progressing well so hopefully I should be back in time for pre-season.
"It has been frustrating. I wanted to have a solid year and I felt that I started well so I wanted to build on that.
"But, while I really missed playing, I have got to spend some time with my family and my daughter.
"I hate being away from the game, but that has been the positive side of it for me.
"I am not sure what will happen for next season. It would have been hard to turn down a contract at Thistle if I had been offered one, but I know that I need to prove my fitness first.
"I might try and do that at a club in the Birmingham area, if I get a chance to stay near my family then I would do that.
"I would never rule out signing for Thistle again. Even though I didn't play for that long, I really enjoyed my time there, the manager and everyone around the club has been really good with me.
"The manager is right. I don't think a club like Thistle can afford to take a gamble on me and I don't blame them for wanting to hold off just now. I understand where the manager is coming from."
If Archibald can convince Osbourne to head back across the border this summer it would represent a significant coup for the Firhill boss.
The former Dons star was one of Thistle's most important and consistent performers before his season was halted.
IN Ozzy's absence, the Jags went on to end the campaign on a high and retain their Premiership status and the 27-year-old is delighted to see Firhill side remain in the top flight.
He said: "I was at a couple of games to watch the boys and it was great to see them stay up.
"It is a great group of players at Thistle and a lot of them have been texting me while I have been away from the club to see how I am getting on.
"That was the most important thing for us at the start of the season and while we could have finished much higher up, the boys deserve a lot of credit for what they have done.
"We have dropped a lot of points in games that we should have won and that could have made a real difference and had us safe long before the second last game of the season but the boys have done what was asked of them and deserve to stay in the Premiership.
"If we had got a result against Ross County on the final day of the season, we would have finished seventh.
"That would have made it look a lot better than finishing in tenth but we done the job that we set out to do."