Caley Thistle manager John Robertson insists he will have no qualms should on-loan Rangers winger Kai Kennedy have to self-isolate until next week.
Kennedy was part of the Scotland under-19s side whose game against England at St George’s Park was abandoned last Thursday, after Scots head coach Billy Stark received confirmation of a positive Covid-19 test outcome during the game.
Kennedy, who earlier this month joined Caley Jags on a temporary deal until January, has entered precautionary self-isolation along with the rest of the squad, with Stark now awaiting the results of a second test.
Although Robertson is disappointed to be without the 18-year-old, he insists he is supportive of the ruling.
Robertson said: “We’re waiting on official clarification from the SFA, but it would appear that he has to self-isolate.
“That is disappointing for us and, most importantly, it’s disappointing for the boy.
“Right now, our thoughts are with Billy Stark, hopefully he hasn’t got Covid-19, but if he does then we wish him a safe and speedy recovery.
“The sensible aspect of it is that all the lads who were in contact, should Billy return a second positive test, will have to self-isolate.
“Being a non-testing team, I think that’s the correct way forward. That’s the protocol, we have to accept that.
“We have been in contact with Kai, who is absolutely desperate to get involved with us, but it looks like that will be delayed for a few days yet.”
Kennedy was among seven players absent for last week’s 1-0 loss to Hearts, while attacker Shane Sutherland also limped off with a hamstring injury during the first half at Tynecastle and will miss tonight’s Betfred Cup visit of Cowdenbeath.
Robertson will have defender Danny Devine and James Vincent back in contention following injury, with the Caley Jags manager hoping to boost his selection options for Saturday’s Championship opener away to Dunfermline.
Robertson insists he will not treat the Blue Brazil lightly, however, adding: “We have made it quite plain that the first two matches in particular in the cup were to be used as pre-season for building up minutes, and that will be the case against Cowdenbeath.
“Whoever we put out has to be prepared to play the way we want, play with the intensity that we want, and win the football match.
“We’re not underestimating Cowdenbeath in any shape or form, we will give them the same respect that we gave Hearts, but there will be two or three lads playing to get minutes under their belt because quite simply they need it for us to have as much of the squad ready for Saturday as possible.
“We were actually quite glad that we didn’t have a game at the weekend because we have a lot of injuries.
“It has allowed two or three lads the opportunity to be available, and I’ll have to look at that in regards to Saturday.”
Robertson expects a difficult encounter against Gary Bollan’s League Two side, who ran Hearts close in a narrow 1-0 loss at Bayview on Saturday.
He added: “Cowdenbeath will be a tough nut to crack – they showed that on Saturday, and they had a good season last year.
“They’re well organised, Gary has some good players in there and they will be difficult to break down, but that’s what we have to be ready to do.
“The important thing is to win the game and keep ourselves involved in the group.”