Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley has confirmed midfielder Fraser Fyvie is set for another spell on the sidelines.
The 30-year-old has missed Cove’s last two matches due to a knee problem and is not in contention for Saturday’s clash with Annan Athletic at Galabank.
It is a blow for Cove and Fyvie, who only returned to action in September after an eight-month lay-off due to an ankle injury which required surgery.
After missing the opening five games of the League One season, Fyvie started the next eight matches – playing 90 minutes in seven – and scored twice, against Annan and Hamilton Accies.
Hartley said: “We need to wait and see how Fraser is. He will see a surgeon next week, so we’ve just got to see where he’s at.
“He has had a bit of discomfort within his knee. He’s a big player for us, but we can’t rush him back.
“Fraser has a good mentality and is a very good professional. He’s played to a high level, but has had a lot of setbacks and has managed to come through that.
“We just need to go without him just now. We’ve got good players who can step in and they have shown that over the last couple of games, so we just have to keep it going.”
Hartley also confirmed summer signing Luke Strachan, who is yet to make a competitive appearance for Cove since joining from Dundee, could be in line to return to team training later this month.
The 22-year-old defender is currently sidelined with an ankle injury which required surgery.
The Cove manager added: “Luke has been doing a lot of running and is doing a lot of work with the physio, who has done a tremendous job.
“We’ll be looking to have Luke come back with the group at the end of the month.
“He has had a tough time since he came here. The injury was a bad one. He had to get an operation on his ankle because he had been experiencing a bit of discomfort from the end of last season.
“He’s working hard to build his work up, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
“If we can get him back in training with the group at the end of the month then, mentally, it will have a good effect on him.”
More to come from Cove, says Hartley
Cove, who are third in League One, travel to Galabank in search of their eighth successive win and are unbeaten in their last 10 games across all competitions.
But there is no complacency inside the Cove camp as Hartley believes there is still more to come from his side.
He said: “You can always get better. We can always improve and we have the players who can do that.
“We can see how they handle the ball now and that is because we have worked on it.
“There is still more to come. We’re not at the halfway point yet, but we’ve had a good return in the second quarter and have to make sure that we keep pushing on and keep striving to get the three points every week.”
Annan sit second bottom in the table with 10 points from 14 games, but the Cove boss believes his side will still be in for a difficult afternoon.
Hartley’s men won 3-2 when the sides met at Balmoral Stadium earlier in this season – with that match marking the start of Cove’s current seven-game winning run.
He said: “We’re away from home and it’s a hard game. Annan are a good outfit and we saw that up here earlier this season.
“We were 3-0 up and they came back into it, so they have got a lot of spirit in their team.
“It’s always a difficult venue to go to. You need to have the right attitude to go there and make sure you’re up and ready for the game.
“In the last game, we had a lot of chances, even when we go 3-0 up, but we lose a couple of quick goals and we have to defend properly.
“We know they’ve got threats and if you’re not ready for that – no matter who you are or what level – you’ll lose the game.
“The last game was a bit of a warning for us. We were 3-0 up and were hanging on a wee bit at the end. We need to make sure our mentality is good and do the basics well. We have to be ready for a tough game.”