A familiar face has returned to Brunton Park for a second spell today as striker Steven Rigg completes his come-back from a cruciate ligament injury by signing a short-term deal with the club.
Manager Keith Curle confirmed last month that the Keswick-born forward had been training with the first team squad as part of his rehabilitation programme and was quick to praise him for his attitude and application through what had been a tough period.
“Steven asked if he could use our gym and if he could take advice from the medical department as he stepped things up,” Curle explained. “He got to a point where he needed to train and he joined our youth set-up to take things up another level.
“From there he gave me a call to see if he could train with the first team, because he was starting to get interest from other clubs in terms of invitations to go on trial, with a view to sorting himself out with a new club.
“He’s had offers, so we’ve looked at the situation and we know what Steven is about. He likes to score goals and he’s an extremely hard worker. We gave him 45 minutes at Wigan on Tuesday, he got his goal and he looked a real threat. He obviously has more to do in terms of getting there with match fitness and sharpness, but that won’t take him long.”
"The deal takes him in to January and it's structured so that if he does well, and continues his progression, he could see that turn into a longer stay. He's a determined character, as he's shown through the last year with how he's set about getting himself fit again, and I know he will come in and add a real competition for places in forward areas."
Rigg, 25, initially signed for United in July 2014 on a one-year deal but this was quickly extended by a further twelve months when Keith Curle took over the managerial reins later that year.
He scored nine goals in 36 appearances in his two-year spell before making the move north of the border to join Queen of the South in the summer of 2016. He scored twice in 16 appearances for the Doonhamers before picking up a nasty knee injury.
Having cut his teeth with his home town club as a youngster he joined Penrith in 2012 and grabbed an amazing 64 goals from his two-year stay at Frenchfield Park. This included a post-war Penrith record of 35 goals during the 2013/14 campaign, a feat which earned him an invitation to join United on trial at the beginning of their 2014/15 pre-season campaign.
He scored the second goal in Tuesday’s reserve win over Wigan Athletic at Christopher Park and goes into United’s squad wearing shirt number 28.