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Swifts' quest for the top-six lifted as Mitchell nears early comeback

By Adrian Rutherford

Dungannon Swifts hope to have star striker Andrew Mitchell back within the next fortnight. The 23-year-old had been ruled out for two months after suffering an ankle knock against Linfield last month, but the injury has proved less serious than believed - and he should be back in action before February is out.

Mitchell won't make tomorrow's game at Coleraine, where Dungannon continue the chase for a top-six place, but he will be back sooner rather than later, according to Rodney McAree.

And in a double boost, Chris Hegarty, who had been sidelined with a hamstring strain, is also expected to return imminently.

The Swifts boss said: "Chris Hegarty hopefully, possibly, might be back this weekend. Andrew Mitchell we might see back within a fortnight.

"It's better news than we thought because when we saw Mitch on the ground we started to worry about his season. Then we thought it was six to eight weeks, but thankfully it has settled down and is not as bad as first feared."

Mitchell, who has 19 goals this season, should be available for most of the run-in as Dungannon chase a place in the top half.

There are six games until the league splits, starting at Coleraine.

The Swifts sit two points off sixth-placed Glenavon, but face a testing run of games. McAree added: "We are not far off the top six but we have a tough run.

"It's nothing we can't overcome but it's going to be difficult with Crusaders and Cliftonville at home.

"Of the six matches, we play four of the top six. It will be difficult but not beyond our capabilities."

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