NIALL McGinn scaled the seven hills of San Francisco in a bid to reach peak condition for Aberdeen’s Europa League campaign.

And the Northern Ireland international’s treks in among Diamond Heights, Twin Peaks and Mt Davidson helped slice a third off his recovery time.

McGinn managed just over 30 minutes’ action on Saturday as the Dons drew their final pre-season friendly before taking on Finnish club RoPS in Thursday’s qualifier at Pittodrie.

The 31-year-old could feature in the crucial European game but admits it may take a few games before he is back to his best.


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He said: “It was a great feeling to be back out there.

“I had the operation nine weeks ago on Thursday so I’m probably ahead of schedule, which is pleasing for me. I’m just delighted to be back on the pitch and in amongst the boys again.

“I’ve been walking up and down the hills at San Francisco, and cycling the Golden Gate bridge.

“I had a good two weeks off, a bit of downtime for me after the operation.”

Expected to be out for at least three months after damaging ankle ligaments in training, McGinn was back playing just nine weeks after surgery, and insisted that he is ready to play his part in Aberdeen’s Europa League qualifiers.

“I was back on the scene there before, starting the last two games and scoring,” McGinn added.


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“But I wanted to get back to my bread and butter at Aberdeen and working my way back into the team and on my fitness.

“Everything is on schedule which is pleasing and the important thing was getting some minutes today before the big game on Thursday.

“I’ve been in these situations before and it’s a big game. European games under the lights at Pittodrie are always games I’ve enjoyed.

“Looking back to last season and the atmosphere at the Burnley game, it’s games like that you want to be involved in.”