James McPake: Dundee boss Paul Hartley hopes for summer return

James McPake and Paul Hartley
Manager Paul Hartley (right) has been without defender James McPake (left) for over a year

Dundee defender James McPake has had further surgery on his injured knee but manager Paul Hartley is hopeful he will be fit for pre-season.

Northern Ireland cap McPake has been out since suffering a fractured kneecap against Dundee United in January 2016.

The 32-year-old made a comeback in the under-20s in December but did not progress as hoped.

"He's still a wee bit away but we are right behind him and we have good medical staff here," said Hartley.

"James has had a little tidy-up on his knee.

"We will probably not see James till next season, hopefully pre-season. He has been working hard, but we just felt for this last little part he needed that little tidy-up.

"It's been difficult, he has been out nearly 18 months. It has been mentally [difficult] more than anything, but he is getting through it. He's a strong character and it will be good to see him back.

"He's got a coaching staff that are going to support him and he's got good team-mates also."

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