Ross County fear midfielder Ross Draper could face another spell on the sidelines after suffering a relapse of his knee injury.
Englishman Draper recently returned from a four-month injury absence, during which he did part of his rehabilitation at St George’s Park.
Although he has started County’s last two matches, Draper was withdrawn after 52 minutes of Saturday’s 3-2 Betfred Cup loss to Partick Thistle, leaving the Staggies facing an anxious wait ahead of Saturday’s Premiership visit of Livingston.
Co-manager Stuart Kettlewell said: “Ross is struggling. He sustained an injury on Saturday.
“It is a problem that came from a situation in the match and the way he flexed his knee. He has had a slight re-occurrence of the problem he had.
“We’re just assessing the damage and getting a second opinion on it. Hopefully we’ll have some more news as to how long he’ll be out for.
“Fingers crossed it is not too long.”
County will also face a shortage of attacking options, with Lee Erwin and Brian Graham sidelined, and Kettlewell added: “Lee Erwin is definitely going to be out after rolling his ankle in the reserve game against Motherwell.
“Brian Graham is out with a hamstring problem, added to the longer-term ones of Don Cowie and Lewis Spence.
“It’s a challenge, but something we’ve been used to for some time now dating back through last season and we’ll go ahead and deal with it.”
County’s defeat to Thistle at Firhill was their first loss of the campaign so far, however Kettlewell says it does not detract from an otherwise promising start to the Premiership campaign for the newly-promoted Staggies.
Kettlewell added: “With the way myself and Steven feel we are at this football club – we are realists.
“Inevitably we were going to lose a game at some point. We have been riding the crest of a wave over the last number of weeks, and speaking about how well we have been doing.
“There is not an acceptance of the defeat or performance – far from it.
“But in terms of what we feel we need to address and slightly tweak this week going into the Livingston game, we don’t feel there’s masses of a difference between what happened against Partick Thistle, and by dominating Hearts and beating Hamilton Accies convincingly at home.
“We are sitting here with four points from the first two league games.
“We now have to accept what our fate was in the Partick Thistle game, we need to move on and remain positive.
“We have been in a great position since the start of the season. We feel everything we have worked on has come to fruition.
“This is our first setback, so we will move on.”