Skipper Jim Goodwin is set to make a surprise return to SPL action this weekend against Hearts at Tynecastle.
It was thought that the influential Buddies midfielder would be unavailable for the Capital clash – and even Goodwin himself thought he was out.
But it appears the powerful captain has not yet gone through the SFA disciplinary threshold, which would have led to a second match suspension for this week.
And while the former Hamilton Accies star is perilously close to another ban, he is eligible to play on Saturday.
Goodwin, 30, picked up a red card after two cautions during the 2-1 defeat to Hibs at Easter Road 11 days ago.
That forced him to miss the heavy 4-1 defeat to Aberdeen on Saturday due to automatic suspension.
Goodwin himself was also under the impression that he would miss out.
However, manager Danny Lennon checked and discovered Jim’s good to go.
Lennon said: “Jim’s fine for this Saturday. He thought he was suspended for this week but he’ll be available and that gives us a wee lift.
“He’s a very important player for us.”
Goodwin’s possible return to action will no doubt help boost the beleaguered Buddies, who succumbed to their fifth straight league loss at the weekend.
And it could bode well for the trip to Gorgie as the last time the teams met in the league, a blistering strike from Goodwin helped secure a 2-0 win back in September.
Lennon said: “The way it works is that his second yellow card at Easter Road, which was followed by a red, knocks out one of the cautions, so he is still one booking away suspension-wise. And then he may miss for one or two matches.
“But the important thing is that he’s eligible.
“It is a big bonus for us ahead of an important game.”