Elgin City have been dealt a blow with the news striker Kane Hester is likely to be sidelined for the rest of September with a hamstring injury.
Hester missed last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Kelty Hearts at New Central Park after suffering the injury during training.
That prompted an assessment earlier this week, with the injury likely to rule him out of Saturday’s home game against Annan Athletic and next weekend’s trip to Stenhousemuir.
The absence of talismanic Hester is a big setback for the Black and Whites, with the 26-year-old having already netted seven times this term after ending last season with 16 goals.
Although manager Gavin Price admits it is a blow, he has challenged other attackers to step up in Hester’s absence.
Price said: “Kane will be out for a wee while with a hamstring problem.
“Hopefully it’s not as bad as first feared but it will certainly keep him out for a couple of weeks.
“We have got a good squad, with some good players to come in.
“We are going to get setbacks like that during the season. We are not a club that’s going to be relying on one player.
“Kane is a big miss, but there are other players that can step up.”
Price handed a debut to on-loan Ross County defender Tom Grivosti against Kelty, with the Englishman playing 68 minutes before being replaced by Nathan Cooney.
With Grivosti having not featured since November, Price says he is working with the Staggies to closely monitor the 22-year-old but he hopes to build up his game time in the coming weeks.
Price added: “We are working with Ross County on that. He has been out for a long time.
“We will bleed him in and make sure he gets through his first two or three games steadily.
“He was excellent on Saturday, he showed the quality of player he is. We have seen that in training and we saw it in the game against Kelty.
“Hopefully he will get a bit more game time on Saturday, and then hopefully he will be up to full speed after that.”
Elgin face another difficult challenge when they host league leaders Annan Athletic on Saturday, with the Black and Whites aiming to continue their unbeaten home league record.
Despite being hit by a late Kelty equaliser on Saturday, Price was heartened by his side’s display.
He added: “It was a bit of a scunner to lose the late goal, but there are certainly things to build on. The team worked really well together.
“It was similar to when we were going through a bad patch last season, we went to Queen’s Park and got a similar sort of performance and picked up a draw which turned things around.
“I’m hoping the penny has dropped about how we have to work together, and we can start putting together some positive results.
“The league looks very tight. Kelty have maybe got a wee bit extra on all the teams, but apart from that I don’t think there’s a lot between the other nine.
“In every match we are going to need to be at the top end of our game to get results.
“Every game is going to be a challenge and Saturday is no different. Annan are ahead of us in the league, but we have to back ourselves.
“We know we have got players that can get a result if we apply ourselves properly.”