Ross County midfielder Charlie Lakin has been ruled out until the new year due to a thigh injury which could sideline him for up to six weeks.
On-loan Birmingham City player Lakin picked up the injury during the early stages of County’s 2-0 victory over Celtic in the Betfred Cup last month, with scans revealing it is more serious than first suspected.
Defender Keith Watson is also likely to miss this weekend’s trip to Aberdeen, after suffering a glute injury in last weekend’s 4-0 loss to Rangers.
With the likes of Ross Draper, Oli Shaw, Tom Grivosti and Carl Tremarco also sidelined, Staggies manager Stuart Kettlewell expects to be light in numbers once again for the trip to Pittodrie.
Kettlewell said: “We have had some negative news on Charlie Lakin who we suspect might be out for anywhere up to six weeks.
“We thought that was potentially going to be a two-week injury, but it looks like it may stretch up towards six.
“We lose Keith Watson again. He came off at half-time against Rangers with a problem with his glute.
“People will see options are limited. We have one or two guys getting closer to getting back out on the training pitch just running, not even taking part in full contact training.
“History will tell me that has fallen back on its head, after seeing guys almost get back.”
County are entering a busy period in which they will play seven games in 21 days over the festive period, however Kettlewell will look to get the most out of the players he has available.
He added: “I can only focus on what I have to work on and we will maximise what we have and try to get the best out of each and every player we have available.
“We won’t make excuses we will just crack on with it.
“Whether we have the cover or not that is what we have to play.
“We have seven games but let’s go and embrace it and see if we can get out of it, let’s progress in the cup and amass points in the league.
“That is what should get us up in the morning.
“We have seven games in 21 days and let’s take on this challenge and do the best we can.”