Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes hopes to have Greg Leigh available for the return leg with Chikhura Sachkhere next week.
Full-back Leigh, who joined on loan from Dutch side NAC Breda last month, has been sidelined with an ankle injury since limping out of the pre-season friendly with Caley Thistle at the start of the month.
However, he may hand McInnes a boost ahead of second leg of the Europa League second qualifying round tie, with defenders Mikey Devlin and Ash Taylor already sidelined with hamstring issues. Devlin’s torn hamstring kept him out of the first game in Tblisi, while Taylor came off after just 17 minutes, leaving McInnes with only three fit defenders.
Jon Gallagher and Ryan Hedges both had stints at the back against Chikhura but the return of Leigh, a natural left-back, would ease his defensive headaches for Thursday’s game at Pittodrie.
He said: “We feel that hopefully we can get one of our injured boys back – Greg Leigh has the best chance of that for us. Ryan did well, (Funso) Ojo for his first 90 minutes – I thought he was able to give me maybe 60 or 75 minutes. Bryson came on early than we would have expected and used his experience to get through the game.
“The injury to big Ash unsettled us and far from ideal from my point of view. We have three injured defenders now and we only carry six. You’re putting a squad together and trying to get the right balance and think you’ve got it right; it shows, as it was last season, what having three injuries in one area can do.
“We’ll assess Ash. As a hamstring injury you naturally fear the worst with that. I don’t think he’ll be back any time soon but I don’t think it’s as bad as it could be.”
“Jon Gallagher can play at right-back and Shay has played at left-back before but the rhythm of the team, we lost a bit of that. Ryan Hedges playing as an advanced left-back gave a bit more balance to the team and I think you saw that in the second half.”
The Dons boss was pleased with Cosgrove’s performance, not just for his crucial penalty but his all-round game.
Cosgrove netted the penalty to level the game, his third European goal this season, in Thursday’s 1-1 draw, to add to his goals against RoPS in the first round.
McInnes added: “He’s doing great – he led the line brilliantly second half. You saw when they came out of their midfield slots, to try and get after our dominance, we controlled the game. Ojo, Bryson and Ferguson were very strong in the middle for us. That allowed us to get the ball into Cosgrove and play a lot of the game in their half.
“I felt the goal was coming. Any grievance we had at half-time, with the injury to Ash and the penalty, where the boy has thrown himself up in the air, we had to deal with that.
“If we were really chasing the game, there was maybe another goal in it for us. While 1-1 is not a perfect result, it gives us every opportunity to finish the tie next week at Pittodrie.”