TOMMY WRIGHT admits Rumarn Burrell’s return to training is an unexpected but huge boost to Kilmarnock.

The on-loan Middlesbrough striker had only made one substitute appearance away at Queen of the South before picking up an ankle injury in training.

Both Killie and his parent club suspected the 20-year-old would be out for several months and would require surgery.

However, the attacker is back at Rugby Park and will re-join full first team training early next week.

Wright said: “We were expecting him to get an operation and that was something that even Middlesbrough were possibly thinking he was going to get.

“But they went down a route where they decided that we’ll rehab him and take the chance that everything would be all right because it was a bit of a risk. We’ve been part of his rehab as well, we could have ended up me telling you today his rehab hasn’t worked and he will have to get an operation, you’ve lost four weeks, maybe more.

“So it was a wee bit of a gamble in terms of what we did with him and what Middlesbrough did with him but it’s proved to be the right decision and he should be in full training certainly by the middle of next week.”

Killie make the short journey up the M77 to Firhill on Saturday to take on Partick Thistle in what is sure to be a tough contest for both promotion challengers.

Wright watched his side defeat Morton 1-0 last time out. 

And he wants his side to do more of the same but show some more creative spark in the final third.

He added: “They don't need to change that much. What I said last week was that with the amount of possession we had we didn't create enough opportunities with that.

"That's down to two things. One, how well Morton played and two, we could've done things better.

"We analysed that, we went over it again this week, we look for improvement but ultimately we dominated possession against Morton and there was only really one team who were going to go on to win the game and we got over the line.

"If I have to say every week that we can play better but we got the three points I'll take that all season.

"We know it's going to be another tough one - they've had a good start. Ian's got a good squad, with a lot of experience.

"It's never easy going away on the road to win games but so far this season we've done well both home and away.

"I think it'll be a different challenge. Partick will want to come and try to force their game on us, which I think might suit us."

Meanwhile, Scott Robinson is relishing the chance to play in a front two alongside Oli Shaw.

The ex-Livi forward helped to change the dynamics of Killie’s attacking play at home to Morton after coming off the bench as Wright went 442.

But Robbo knows there is stiff competition for places – which he believes will be vital in the Ayrshire side’s promotion push.

He said: “I would love creating a partnership with him (Shaw) to be honest.

“We have been doing it in training through the week and it has been working well, and then there’s other players like Liam Polworth and big Innes [Cameron] who can play.

“If it was to be Oli and I then we can link-up well and it would only get better over time.

“I think we need that to be honest, any successful team needs to have competition for places.

“You need to keep players on their toes throughout a full season, you don’t want anyone thinking ‘I’ll be playing at the weekend so I won’t train hard during the week’.

“The gaffer has said that to us, he wants competition everywhere, if you look at our squad now we have that in every area.”