Ross County pair Joe Chalmers and Tom Grivosti are unlikely to recover from long-term injuries in time for the start of the Premiership season next month.
Midfielder Chalmers has been sidelined with an ankle injury, while defender Grivosti has been out since October with a foot problem.
Although Staggies manager Stuart Kettlewell expects them to return to full training in the weeks ahead, he says the first league game at home to Motherwell on August 3 will come too soon.Kettlewell said: “I just spoke to the physio and I think both will be pretty much into full sessions by the first game of the season.
“I don’t think they will be fully fit or fully functional by then, but my hope is they are fully integrated with the group by that point.
“There has been a long lay-off for both, so it will take a bit of time to get them up to speed.
“That’s something we’ll look at in the next couple of weeks.”
Kettlewell confirmed Chalmers and Grivosti are the only players sidelined, adding: “We’ve only really got two that are still out. Ross Draper, Michael Gardyne, Blair Spittal have been out for a couple of weeks with niggles, but took part in bounce games.
“That gives us a really good strength in depth to our squad, but obviously we want to get the other two guys back fit too.
“It will give me a few sleepless nights if everyone is doing well, but that’s what I want.”
Kettlewell is keen to arrange a spectator-free friendly at Victoria Park ahead of the opening match of the season, but has been left frustrated in his attempts to bring opposition to the Highlands.
Kettlewell added: “It has proved a huge challenge to arrange a friendly up here in Dingwall. People aren’t jumping out of their skin to travel up here. We have tried a number of avenues, but it’s proving difficult.
“I thought we might have something this week, but that fell through for a couple of different reasons.
“Our players have played on the pitch three times since we’ve been allowed to come back into full contact and another one of the messages coming from me is playing in our stadium with no supporters there and accustoming ourselves.”