Aberdeen defender Andrew Considine reckons the Dons unexpected injury woes have set back their start to the season.
Scott McKenna is the latest injury victim, with Mark Reynolds and Tommie Hoban both already sidelined with knee injuries and right-back Shay Logan suspended.
New addition Stephen Gleeson missed time during pre-season and Considine himself was out for 10 days with concussion sustained in the pre-season friendly with Cove Rangers, meaning it has been hard to get cohesive preparation done.
Manager Derek McInnes has just two fit defenders available for the trip to Dundee today, with Considine likely to start alongside Mikey Devlin at centre-half and midfielders Dominic Ball and Graeme Shinnie occupy the full-back positions.
Everything was in place for the Dons to have a smoother start to the season with an extended summer break, however luck has conspired against them.
Considine said: “This pre-season was set up so we were getting a longer break, a longer pre-season, a longer rest and everybody would come back fresh. It looked rosy for the first couple of weeks then we started to get injuries. Everybody came back then we went to the Cove game and Reynolds is out until Christmas, I got concussed and then big Scotty got injured on Sunday.
“It’s been stop-start for a lot of boys which has been very frustrating. That’s part and parcel of football but to be fair, we’ve got a decent-sized squad this year. We’ve got plenty guys in the background who are desperate to play.
“There are guys he’s brought in who maybe haven’t had as much game time as they would have hoped. They’re ready to come in when they’re called upon. We’ve got young boys who can come on as well. We’ve got depth in the squad but it’s frustrating that we’ve lost two or three mainstays in the first team so early in the season.”
Considine has no qualms about moving inside from left-back as he did against Rangers, with centre-back his preferred position.
He added: “If it’s the case that it’s going to set up like it did against Rangers then I hope so, yes. The window is still open, he (McInnes) might look to bring in another defender or two. Scotty is out for six to eight weeks and Mark is out until Christmas. Shay is suspended for another couple of weeks. We are looking very thin along the backline. There is every chance that the manager will bring somebody in.”