Ross County pair Ross Draper and Callum Morris are likely to face a prolonged spell on the sidelines as they both look to get to the bottom of long-standing calf injuries.
Midfielder Draper has made eight appearances but has not played since the 2-0 loss to Rangers on October 4, while defender Morris has been fit for most of the season but pulled up in just his third outing of the campaign in a 2-1 Betfred Cup win over Arbroath last week.
With both players having suffered several injury setbacks in recent months, Staggies manager Stuart Kettlewell is keen to give the pair time to recover.
Kettlewell said: “They are two we’re taking right back out of it and we need to come up with a solution, rather than having them in one week and back out the next.
“We’re looking to see if we can get to the bottom of that with both players.
“Both have had bad injuries histories over the last year to 18 months. Callum has had a lot to contend with and big Ross has had problems since fracturing his knee in a derby match against Caley Thistle.
“He has had a long road back from that and also a couple of other issues on the back of it.
“I don’t want to keep pitching them out there and have that same complaint all the time. We just need to get them right and back playing games.
“Ross and Callum are two big characters. They are massive personalities in our dressing room, leaders we know can perform at Premiership level so we need to try to rectify their situations sooner rather than later.”
County make the trip to Motherwell on Saturday, having recorded their fourth clean sheet of the campaign in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Hibernian.
Kettlewell will be forced to reshuffle his defence however, with Connor Randall suspended following his red card, while he also has a doubt over Coll Donaldson.
Left back Josh Reid will return into contention however, with the teenager ending a two-week self-isolation today after being part of the Scotland under-19s camp when head coach Billy Stark tested positive for Covid-19.
Kettlewell added: “Coll Donaldson is a concern for us. He came off the pitch on Saturday with a groin problem.
“It happened with his first pass in the game and he took a few knocks, bumps and bruises as the game went on.
“We’ll need to assess him. The wee bit of positive news is we have Josh Reid coming back in.
“He’s had work to do from the confines of his room, limited in what he can do, so we just need to assess him and see where he is fitness-wise and make sure he’s ready to go. There’s only so much he could do, but he’s a fit lad and had plenty of football this season.
“Having been away with Scotland, I’m not overly concerned he is going to be miles behind. He’s a young lad and they should be able to run all day.”
Despite the latest setbacks, Kettlewell feels injury problems have eased this year compared with previous seasons.
He added: “It is frustrating, but looking around the country everybody has injury concerns.
“The one thing that has improved this year for us is the availability of players.
“I look at my training sheet every day and I was used to seeing five, six or seven players out every single day, with us wondering what we would have if these guys were on the pitch.
“The medical staff have been brilliant and reducing that average age in the squad helps a bit.
“I’m massive on players training every single day and, on some occasions, trying to get two sessions a day from them.
“That bodes well for creating a high-performance environment and a successful team.”