Peterhead boss Jim McInally is relieved Andrew McCarthy will only be out for six weeks after initial concerns he would be out for much longer.
The Blue Toon have confirmed the midfielder will miss the first six weeks of the season with an injury to his ankle.
McCarthy, 23, came off injured in the dying minutes of the pre-season friendly defeat to Dundee, having been on the receiving end of a challenge from former team-mate Josh Mulligan.
Peterhead boss McInally said: “The news that Andrew will be out for six weeks is a bit bittersweet.
“We do not want him out for any time, but at one stage at the weekend we thought he was facing a lengthier lay-off.
“There was no maliciousness in the challenge, and Andrew and Josh got on well when Josh was here, however, it looks like we have paid the price for Josh looking to impress his new manager with a really robust challenge in the last minute of a game.
“Andrew was a big player for us last season, and I was delighted when he re-signed and I am looking forward to having him available again soon.
“He came back to pre-season in terrific shape and hopefully that will speed things up.
“His injury leaves an already small squad one down, but we will do what we have always done and concentrate on what we have as opposed to what is missing.”