CRAIG SIVES has vowed to put his four-month injury nightmare behind him to help Partick Thistle secure First Division survival.

The loan signing from Hearts got his first run-out in over four months in the vital 2-0 win over St Johnstone on Tuesday.

But despite continuing discomfort with an ongoing stomach and groin condition, Sives is desperate to start when Hamilton head for Firhill on Saturday.

He said: "The last game I played before St Johnstone the other night was on November 4.

"So I have been out for four months. I felt I'd made a decent start to my season at Firhill and then this condition flared up and totally de-railed me.

"The only solution is rest and, even although I am back playing, I am still getting pain from it and that will continue for a good few months so I am told. But at least now I am at a stage where I can play with it."

Sives was delighted to get a decent 65 minutes under his belt - but was still happy to see his number flashing on the substitute board.

He said: "I was relieved when the gaffer gave me the hook because I was just knackered.

"But fingers crossed I have come through it okay and will be ready to start the Hamilton game if selected."

The 20-year-old's season-long loan spell from Tynecastle will finish at the end of the current campaign, but he is in the dark about what will happen over the summer. Sives said: "Nobody has spoken to me about what happens after the season is complete.

"My target is to play as many games as I can and see what happens. But I will be back at Tynecastle for pre-season as ultimately I am a Hearts player.

"But you never know what can happen over the summer and I have really enjoyed my time at Firhill even if my season has been wrecked by the injury."

The classy defender has no doubt about how vital the Jags' first win over St Johnstone was.

"I think we showed against St Johnstone that we are a good team," he said.

"If you look at our results in 2007 that is only our second win of the New Year, but I think that has been a bit of a hangover from the illness and injury we suffered over the festive season.

"I think we were joint second with St Johnstone going into that period and then it all went wrong and it has been a struggle to stabilise things.

"But that win over St Johnstone was a big win for us and doubly so with Ross County beating Hamilton."

Meanwhile, ahead of Saturday's final meeting with Hamilton, Alan Archibald looks to be winning his battle with the hamstring injury he suffered in training at the beginning of the week.

However, skipper Jimmy Gibson is at best 50/50 to return from the ankle injury he sustained in the derby defeat against Clyde a fortnight back.

Simon Donnelly's groin injury will continue to sideline the former Celt.