St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin has provided a positive update on the fitness of striker Cody Cooke. 

Cooke hasn’t featured in the first team since suffering a serious knee injury back in the BetFred League Cup draw with Albion Rovers in July. 

And while the 26-year-old isn’t ready to return to the fold just yet, he has returned to training and played in both bounce and reserve matches. 

Goodwin said: ”Cody played a bounce game last week against Celtic and played an hour in the reserves - we’re trying to get him back to where he needs to be fitness wise.

“It’s just trying to gradually build him up. He’s back training with the group again, but it takes time as he’s not had a pre-season.

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"He’s making great progress, we’re all really pleased for him and glad that it all seems to be behind him now. It’s just about him getting stronger and getting fitter now. He’s scored a few goals in training.”

Looking ahead to the weekend, Goodwin has paid his respects to sacked Hearts manager Craig Levein, who loaned him Dario Zanatta during his time in charge of Alloa. 

Levein left Hearts last week after just one league win in 11 games since the start of the season with the Edinburgh side currently level on points with the Buddies at the bottom of the Premiership.

And Goodwin knows if his side can get their noses ahead early on Saturday, it could see the Tynecastle faithful to take their frustrations out on their team. 

He continued: “I don’t know if it makes it more difficult, but they are a good side so it was always going to be a difficult venue anyway.

"I’m always disappointed to see managers go and I have a lot of respect for Craig Levein. I had a couple of good conversations with him through the years and he helped me out when I was at Alloa, loaning me Dario Zanatta at the time and was always very good to deal with. 

"He’s a really good man and a really good football man. For whatever reason it hasn’t worked out but I certainly wish him well in the future and I hope he gets back In soon. I’m sure he will.

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“The fans are demanding and they have their wish now with Craig gone. They are also going to be demanding a bit more of the players now too. It’s all well and good getting rid of the manager but the players need to take a certain amount of responsibility.

"They’ll be expecting a a big performance, Hearts fans demand that anyway, and we’re ready for that. Of course, if we go there and play the way we can and get them on the player's backs, we’ll use that to our advantage.”

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