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Lithgow raring to go after appendix operation

Livingston captain Alan Lithgow is desperate to get back playing again after recovering earlier than expected following emergency surgery.

The defender had his appendix out four weeks ago but was back on the bench for the midweek draw against Hearts and hopes to play against Kilmarnock on Saturday.

The 31-year-old said: “It was agony. I had gastroenteritis the week before and I had a blockage in my stomach. I woke up on the Saturday morning, the day before the Rangers game, in excruciating pain.

“I couldn’t even lift my leg up, it felt as if I was being stabbed in the bottom right side of my stomach. I had to say to my missus to get me up to hospital. That was six o’clock in the morning and I had an operation late that night. It wasn’t great.

“I was struggling with my hamstring a few weeks before that and missed a good few games. I came back in for three games in a week and thought if I could get through that I would be fine.

“And then that happened. It’s a killer because I didn’t want to miss any more games.

“The thought of missing four to six weeks was daunting because I hate missing games. I’m never injured so this season has been a bit frustrating for myself.

“I will need to build my fitness up, I wasn’t supposed to be back in training until Monday, but if I am fit enough to do a job now.”

Livi are looking to build on two draws when they host Killie but manager Gary Holt has warned his players to be fully concentrated against his former club.

“Kilmarnock are very structured and well organised, know their roles, and they wait for you to make a mistake,” Holt said. “They pounce very quickly on any individual mistake.

“And that comes from maybe having the ball too much, maybe over-playing, trying to risk it in areas where you shouldn’t be. So you have to stick to the game plan and be on your game.

“But we know if we can get our noses in front it might change. They might have to come out, open up a bit more and be more expansive.

“But while it’s 0-0, we are at our weakest when we have got the ball, especially against teams like Kilmarnock and the best teams in the league.

“So you have to be switched on. When we are in the attacking area of the pitch, the defenders have to be switched on because that’s when they will counter and they are probably one of the best teams at doing it.”