Caley Thistle defender Carl Tremarco is nearing a return to action but will be one of several players absent when depleted Inverness take on Brechin City in the Championship tomorrow.
Left back Tremarco has been sidelined since suffering a cruciate ligament injury in a 4-2 defeat at Motherwell in April, prior to the Highlanders’ relegation from the Premiership.
The Englishman has returned to full training but manager John Robertson says he will aim to organise bounce matches in an effort to build his match fitness.
Robertson said: “Carl is not far away from possibly getting his first taste of match action.
“With a new squad and a younger squad, it’s vital we have little bits of experience dotted through the team.
“That showed with Gary Warren on Saturday and I’m sure it will show when Carl gets back into the squad as well.
“We are hopeful of organising a friendly next week to get Carl his first 45 minutes of football. He’s still miles off being ready for first-team football. The good news is he’s in full training and about ready to enter the fray in friendlies, albeit not in the first-team just yet.
“We’ll have a chat with County next week to see if there’s a possibility of having a game behind closed doors as their under-20s don’t have a game. That would allow the likes of Carl to get match fit.”
Robertson does not have his problems to seek ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Glebe Park, with Tremarco one of up to nine players who could miss out.
Robertson says he could be forced to hand youth a chance and added: “We’re having to work with what we’ve got and we don’t have a lot at the moment. We trained with 13 players on Thursday. We’re down to the bare bones again.
“That means the likes of Liam MacDonald and Mitch Foy can come into play from the bench. As long as we’ve got 11 players fit and ready, we’ll go there and give a good account of ourselves.”
Ross County forward Greg Morrison, who was previously a loan target for Caley Thistle, could now join Championship rivals Dundee United after Inverness failed to agree a deal for the 19-year-old.