Ross County midfielder Tony Dingwall could be sidelined for the rest of the year after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in training.
The 22-year-old, pictured below, was hurt after landing awkwardly during a training session on the Staggies’ artificial training surface at Victoria Park.
Dingwall had struggled to break into County’s team this season having made just four starts, and is out of contract with his hometown club in the summer.
County manager Jim McIntyre confirmed Dingwall faces a lengthy period of recovery, along with midfielder Ian McShane who has undergone a groin operation.
McIntyre said: “Tony will be out for six to nine months, that’s probably the worst injury a footballer can get. That’s a disaster – and it is the second one we’ve had in the last three or four weeks with our young midfielder Tom MacLennan suffering the same.
“It has been a really unlucky run we’ve had with injuries. There was nobody near either of them as is generally the way with cruciate injuries.
“Ian McShane had an operation on his groin last week. We tried to manage the injury, but he needed the operation.”
County were without several key players for Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Kilmarnock, with defenders Andrew Davies and Jay McEveley and goalkeeper Scott Fox missing out while midfielder Martin Woods was forced to come off with an Achilles injury.
Late decisions will be made ahead of Saturday’s Highland derby against Caley Thistle, aside from McEveley who will miss out with a medial ligament injury. Forward Alex Schalk will be fit to play after breaking a bone in his hand, but McIntyre says his players must rally despite the setbacks.
He added: “We’ve not had our troubles to seek. Andrew had a bang on the head so we couldn’t take any chances with that. He is a bit better and that will be a last-minute call before the Highland derby.
“Jay McEveley will be back after the Caley Thistle game. He did his medial ligament at Hearts so he has been having some sugar injections for that.
“Scott Fox, before the game, felt a nerve in his back.
“It was one of things that was thrown on us at the last minute, but Aaron McCarey came in and did well considering he’s not had a lot of game time.
“Martin Woods had an injection in his Achilles and he’ll be another who is touch and go for the weekend. He went into the game with the injury whi ch we thought he could get through, but he could not.”