PARTICK THISTLE will still be a little short of bodies at the back for tomorrow’s Championship clash with Hamilton but the Jags’ rearguard will be boosted by the return of centre-half Darren Brownlie.

The 28-year-old missed the entirety of last season after suffering a serious injury but has featured in pre-season and in the group stages of the Premier Sports Cup for the Jags, although another setback meant he was unavailable for last weekend’s 3-2 win at Dens Park.

Centre-backs Tunji Akinola and Aaron Muirhead remain sidelined for the match with Accies and Thistle manager Ian McCall is on the lookout for one final defensive addition to his squad before the transfer window closes.

“Brownlie’s back training, he’ll be in the squad,” McCall said.

“Tunji is really close but we may just wait until he sees somebody on Monday to get the all-clear. He’ll be back training Tuesday, he is doing everything today, I wish he was in the squad but it’s unlikely

“Cammy [Smith] and Aero [Muirhead] are still out. So we’ll definitely have one back.

“We’re still looking [to bring in a defender on loan], we’ve got three or four people we’re looking at. We don’t want to rush it.

“We thought we had one, we haven’t. Might be by Saturday, might not be, simple as that.”

The opening-day victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Dundee was an impressive three points to kick off the new league campaign – particularly because the Jags only played one recognised centre-back, Kevin Holt.

McCall insists the result and the manner of the win didn’t catch him off-guard, however.

“No, not really,” he added. “We’re still getting used to the shape that we’re playing and they’re still getting their sharpness and things.

“For example, Harry Milne has been great so far but he’s still taking time to go to a full-time player from a part-time player. The two young Rangers guys [Cole McKinnon and Tony Weston] are just in, so everybody is just getting to know each other.

“That’s five in a row we’ve won. I wasn’t surprised by it but I’m not fooled by it either. I think whoever finishes above Dundee will have a good season, I think. I think they’ve got a lot of good players and a real depth to their squad.”