Ross County’s injury-stricken squad could face four more serious setbacks this weekend.
Ahead of Saturday’s home tussle with Dunfermline, the Dingwall team could lose first team mainstays Billy Mckay, Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs and Callum Morris.
It has already been a busy season for the Championship club’s medical team with captain Marcus Fraser recently back from two months out with a cracked shinbone.
One of the club’s main creative players, Michael Gardyne is out until Christmas with a broken foot amid a spate of call-offs.
It was confirmed last week that vice-captain Liam Fontaine is likely to miss most of the remainder of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, having already been sidelined twice before.
Morris was back training for his first session when he suffered a freak wrist-break, although no date has been set for his recovery.
Influential Vigurs was on crutches at the ground yesterday, while Mckay and Draper nursed hefty knocks.
But co-manager Kettlewell, as yet, is refusing to rule out any of the first choice trio ahead of Saturday’s important league test.
He said: “We’ve had a few problems this week.
“Iain Vigurs picked up a problem in training. Billy Mckay took a whack and Ross Draper is also struggling, so it is Emergency – Ward 10 here.
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“Obviously Liam Fontaine and Michael Gardyne are already out. We’ve not had our troubles to seek.
“We’ve been very unfortunate because most of them are impact injuries.
“We’ve had Callum Morris away for an X-ray yesterday after his first full day back training. They found he has actually got a break in his scaphoid (wrist).
“Like I say, it’s really unfortunate, but we’ll wait and see how these boys are turned around over the course of the week.”
Again, with big-name players out, Kettlewell called on younger and less-used squad members to rise to the challenge if needed.
He said: “Some of them have a chance, but we’ll need to see how things settle down with Callum Morris.
“Iain Vigurs, hopefully we can push on, but Billy Mckay took a really sore one yesterday and Ross Draper has a bit of a niggle.
“We can’t put a timescale on any of them, but some may have a chance for Saturday.
“But we’re looking at a lot of big players on the injury-list again. For this time of year it is unusual, but we’re not going to beat ourselves up about it.
“Ross Draper did brilliantly filling in for us at centre-back. Keith Watson missed the game on Saturday, more as a precaution.
“Young Tom Grivosti came in and played excellently against Motherwell, so as much as we have a few injuries to deal with, we’ve a couple of guys ready to take advantage.
“Tom has been the prime candidate from the younger batch here who are pushing through and doing well.”