Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass has revealed winger Matty Kennedy is suffering from a back issue which has wiped out his season so far.
Glass also confirmed the problem will also rule out the Northern Ireland international for at least two more months.
Kennedy played 39 times last season, but has not managed a minute of first team action this campaign.
The 26-year-old ‘s last Dons appearance was as a substitute in a 1-0 loss at Hibs on May 1 last season.
Glass revealed the injury has been ongoing since pre-season.
Glass said: “Matty’s had a problem. He’s had a back issue which is probably going to keep him out for another couple of months.
“Over the summer, his pre-season was a little bit stunted and there was something going on. We felt he wasn’t being himself and we felt we got to the bottom of it.
“He’s not around us at the moment, he’s having to rest.
“It is disappointing. When we came in, Matty was good for us.”
Kennedy appeared to be closing in on a loan move to St Mirren during the summer transfer window.
St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin admitted during the summer that he was a long time admirer of Kennedy, who is contracted to the Dons until summer 2023.
However, that loan to the Buddie didn’t materialise.
Asked if the back injury was an issue with regards his potential move to St Mirren, Glass said: “No. It’s just an issue injury wise.”
Hedges back from injury to face St Mirren
Aberdeen will face St Mirren away on Sunday in the Premiership looking to end a seven-game winless streak.
During that slump the Reds have dropped into the bottom six of the Premiership, crashed out of the League Cup to lower league Raith Rovers and exited Europe.
Welsh international attacker Ryan Hedges has been ruled out of the last six games with a hamstring injury suffered in that cup loss to Raith.
Since the start of the 2020-21 season, Aberdeen have a 58% win rate when Hedges starts games. That drops to 27% when the attacker has been out injured.
Glass said: “Ryan is available which is great as he gives us something different.”
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— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) September 22, 2021
On-loan Wolves attacker Austin Samuels will be assessed during training at Cormack Park on Friday.
The 20-year-old played for the first 60 minutes of the loss to St Johnstone as Glass was managing his return from injury, which ruled him out of the 2-0 loss at Motherwell.
Glass said: “Austin, we think, will be available.
“He’s not trained with us yet this week.
“That’s been semi-protection, but we’ll need to check on him when he starts on Friday.”
Blow as Marley Watkins set to be ruled out
However, the positive news on Hedges was somewhat tempered with confirmation recent signing Marley Watkins is expected to be ruled out of the trip to Paisley through injury.
Welsh international Watkins, 30, arrived on a two-year deal in the final week of the summer transfer window.
Watkins has started just one game in four since signing and also missed last weekend’s 1-o loss to St Johnstone at Pittodrie.
Glass also confirmed winger Connor McLennan will miss the trip to St Mirren with a back issue.
Glass said: “We don’t think Marley will make it.
“Connor McLennan has missed last and this week.
“He’s a got a little bit of a back issue going on, so he’s not going to be available.
“It’s important we get a couple right so they are ready for the long term.”
Aberdeen ‘not a million miles away’
Aberdeen have taken just one point from the last available nine in the Premiership.
Glass accepts the need to end that winless run, starting against St Mirren.
He said: “We need to start getting results, we know that.
“I think we’ve not been a million miles away with the way the team’s playing.
‘That’s the most important thing for me.
“The performance level has actually been okay.
“We have been not quite as creative as we should have been in the final third, which is down to a little bit of decision-making, movement and belief.
“At the other end, we have not defended a limited number of situations well enough.
“So it’s the same as it always is.
“You’re trying to get results when you work at a club like this and nothing changes.”