ANDY GRAHAM has provided an injury update on three key players ahead of Alloa’s derby match with Stirling Albion.

The gaffer has given fitness updates on Steven Hetherington and, crucially, Scott Taggart and Stefan Scougall who went off injured last Saturday.

During Alloa’s clash with Annan last weekend, two key players had to be substituted off with knocks and injuries.

Right back Taggart and midfielder Scougall were both taken off in the second half, with their inclusion this week posing a question for the manager.

Graham sat down with Advertiser Sport to discuss squad fitness ahead of the crunch derby match with the Binos this coming Saturday.

“We’re looking at a couple from Saturday,” Graham said. “Scouggs felt his hamstring as well, I’m not sure he’ll be available.

“That’s why he came off at the time, he felt his hamstring.

“With Taggs, it's the knock on the cut he got against Motherwell, it’s the exact same bit. Because it is more of a superficial knock, it’ll just depend how much it’s settled down but hopefully he’ll be available.”

In terms of longer injuries, Hetherington has been absent from the squad since the fourth round Scottish Cup tie with Motherwell.

Fans were given a big boost after Hetherington was spotted in pre-match team training before the away visit to Kelty Hearts on March 19, sparking hopes the midfielder was nearing a return.

Graham continued: “He wants to get back as soon as he possibly can but it’s about making sure that he’s ready.

“This week, he’s managed to train Tuesday fully and he’ll train fully tonight which is great so he should be back involved with the squad on Saturday.

“He’s still only done two sessions so whether he’s ready to start or not is another matter but again, we’ll have to look at that in who else we’ve got available.

“Delighted to have him back and he’ll be a big player for us in the remainder of the season.”

While Hetherington is nearing a return, fans will have to wait a bit longer to see Paul McLaren play for Alloa again.

The youngster has been out all season with an ACL injury he got last season, and the manager is cautious about reintroducing him too early.

Graham provided an update on him, but explained that the end of the season may come too soon for McLaren to be involved.

“I very much doubt Paul will be involved in terms of playing,” Graham added. “He does a full session on a Thursday and almost a full session on a Tuesday.

“Paul has been out for a long time and to throw him back into playing would be a big ask at this point in the season.

“He’ll just continue to train and get himself in the best shape that he can, I think It’d be too much to ask him to do any more than that at this point.”