Caley Thistle manager John Hughes admits he is in the dark over when Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo will return to the club, with the midfielder having spent the last week in Belgium receiving treatment for an achilles injury.
Mbuyi-Mutombo joined Caley Jags on a one-year contract in the summer, after leaving French Division 3 side Frejus-Saint-Raphael at the end of last season. He has only made six starts, along with four substitute appearances but has so far failed to find the net.
The Congolese international received a two-match suspension this season after being sent off for a challenge on former Caley Jags player Nick Ross in the 1-1 draw against Dundee at Dens Park.
The 25-year-old is in Belgium, where he began his career with Anderlecht, and manager Hughes says he is unsure of a timescale for his return.
Hughes said: “He’s in Belgium getting treatment on his achilles. He was feeling it before the Kilmarnock game and when we trained on the synthetic surface, it flared up on him.
“He didn’t feel he could do himself justice and was just nursing through it. We put our heads together and decided he could go away, get his treatment and come back ready to go.
“I couldn’t say when that is. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.
“He’s into acupuncture. If he feels that’s where he needs to be then we have to let him go and do it.”
Caley Jags were without nine players for Tuesday’s League Cup quarter-final loss against Ross County, with the injury problems likely to continue to affect Hughes’ preparations for tomorrow’s game against Dundee.
Midfielder Ross Draper is unlikely to return from his ankle injury, while leading scorer Miles Storey has not trained since sustaining a knock in the latter stages of the Highland derby defeat.
Hughes added: “We’ve not got much back-up but it’s been like that for weeks. There’s no excuses because even when these guys weren’t playing, they were banging on my door asking for an opportunity.
“We’re beating ourselves at times. We need to start keeping clean sheets and if that means changing our style, because of the personnel available, then we go and do that. We have to help them. It’s my job to get them along and get them a result.
“We looked at the whiteboard yesterday and I think it was 12 training to 11 injured. It may be a toss-up but I think the 11 injured could beat the 12 training.”