McMullan looks set for quicker return than expected
Cliftonville captain George McMullan has discovered his knee injury isn't as bad as first feared.
Midfielder McMullan was worried that he may be forced to sit out the entire season due to a ruptured cruciate ligament, but a scan revealed he has damaged his medial ligaments.
The injury is likely to rule the experienced McMullan out for another six weeks of Cliftonville's title defence, but he is just grateful his injury isn't more serious.
McMullan said: "It's not as bad as I first thought, so I am a very relieved man.
"I'm still likely to be out for another four to six weeks, but I'm just pleased my cruciate isn't damaged."
In the Belfast Telegraph Championship One, title favourites Carrick Rangers beat east Antrim rivals Ballyclare Comrades 4-2.
Former Glentoran and Coleraine striker Richard Gibson hit a hat-trick for Michael Hughes' side.
Gibson gave Carrick the lead in the 18th minute, before Aaron Harmon made it 2-0 on the half hour mark.
Gibson hit his second goal of the match in the 35th minute, to give Carrick a 3-0 half time lead.
The Comrades pegged a goal back in the 69th minute, only for Gibson to complete his hat-trick in the 71st minute.
Chris Getty pulled one back late on, but Carrick ran out comfortable winners.
Harland & Wolff Welders beat Graham McConnell's Larne 1-0 at Tillysburn.
A second half goal from Steven Garrett gave the Welders the vital three points.
Dundela climbed to the top of the Championship thanks to an impressive 4-0 victory over new boys Knockbreda.
Daniel Burns, Gary Irwin, Owain Beggs and Glentoran legend Michael Halliday were all on the scoresheet for Mark Snodden's side.
Championship Two new boys Newington Youth Club played their second ever NIFL game, against Queen's University at The Dub, the two Belfast clubs playing out a 0-0 draw.
Perennial strugglers Chimney Corner continued their renaissance with an impressive 3-1 win over Ballymoney United at the Riada.
Jamie Willighan hit a double for Corner, while Miles Devine also got off the mark.
The win takes Stephen Hatfield's Chimney Corner up into third spot in the division.
Hatfield certainly seems to have injected some much-needed belief into his Corner side and the young boss will be hopeful of mounting a sustained challenge in the months ahead.