David Rainey battling to be fit for Irish Cup final

Crusaders striker David Rainey will play in a reserve team match on Monday in an attempt to win a place in the squad for Saturday's Irish Cup final.

Rainey has been out for two months because of a knee ligament injury but has a chance of a cup final comeback.

He is to play for the Crues reserves against Linfield Swifts in the George Wilson Cup semi-final at Windsor Park.

Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter said he did not have any other injury concerns ahead of the final against Linfield.

"We gave Colin Coates 90 minutes against Glentoran on Saturday because he had been missed three matches through suspension and Chris Morrow needed some more game time," said Baxter.

David Rainey of Crusaders
David Rainey is battling to be fit for the Irish Cup final

"We rested a few and the rest came through unscathed.

"David Rainey has been training by himself. I do not know whether he will be fit for the cup final.

"The big test will be when he plays for the reserves on Monday night.

"If there is no reaction to the knee injury he may come into our thoughts."

If Rainey is available, he would be a contender for a place on the bench as the experienced striker could be a valuable substitute should the Crues fall behind against double-chasing Linfield.

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