Robertson to hold off in seeking Rooney cover

Shaun Rooney was injured just minutes into the game against Aberdeen.
Shaun Rooney was injured just minutes into the game against Aberdeen.

Caley Thistle manager John Robertson will hold off in seeking right back cover to allow Shaun Rooney the chance to make a speedy return from an ankle injury.

Rooney suffered the ligament injury in the early stages of last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Aberdeen at Borough Briggs, however scans have revealed there is no fracture as feared by Robertson earlier this week.

Robertson expects an absence of up to two months for Rooney, but insists he will wait to monitor the 22-year-old’s recovery before deciding on whether to bring in reinforcements.

Robertson said: “It’s not a fracture, which is good. Whilst it’s still a blow, it looks like six to eight weeks which will take us to the August deadline.

“We will look at that. At the moment we are not looking to replace him, he is generally quite a quick healer and if it looks like that we will see it out.

“If it looks like he’s going to be longer than that, we may need to dip in closer to the transfer deadline.

“At this moment in time are hopeful Shaun will be with us and ready to go by the end of August.”

Inverness round off their pre-season campaign with tonight’s friendly against St Johnstone at Grant Street Park, with Robertson planning to field James Vincent and Kevin McHattie for around an hour after shaking off respective calf and thigh injuries.

Aaron Doran and Cameron Harper will not be risked with minor knocks, while Robertson is hopeful Sean Welsh and Daniel MacKay will return from long-term absences before the end of the Betfred Cup group stage.

Tonight’s match is Caley Jags third in seven days against Premiership opposition, and Robertson feels Tommy Wright’s men can provide another stern test ahead of the opening competitive fixture away to League 1 side Peterhead on Tuesday.

Robertson added: “We have deliberately taken three really tough games this year because we feel we have to be ready for the opening League Cup section.

“We battled to a very good draw against Aberdeen, where they had a lot of possession but our shape defensively was excellent.

“It was the same against Hearts who, like ourselves, had a good mix of youth and experience. The intensity of the game was incredible because the pitch was really slick.

“We once again held our own and got another good result, and now we finish off against St Johnstone.

“It will be another tough match. It’s good it’s here in Inverness, it’s more of a home game for us.”