Ross County defender Callum Morris has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing an operation on a torn hamstring.
Morris has been sidelined since picking up the injury in the 1-0 win over Celtic on February 21, in a further setback for the 31-year-old who has been limited to 17 appearances this season.
The former Aberdeen and Dundee United defender, who has previously been called up by Northern Ireland but has yet to make his international debut, has now undergone surgery which manager John Hughes says will cause him to miss the end of season run-in.
Hughes said: “Callum has had the operation down in London.
“It was a tear on the hamstring. They opened it up, stitched it back up and that is it.
“He is now back doing his rest but he won’t be back this season.
“That is another thing, we are missing a lot of players.
“It is the same at all clubs with injuries and big Ross Stewart moved on to Sunderland and Josh Reid went to Coventry, but to still get the results we have had is fantastic.
“We are just about there, we are sitting 10th, it is in our hands, let’s go and finish the job.”
Although County have a number of injuries, with Morris joined by fellow defenders Carl Tremarco, Tom Grivosti and Connor Randall on the sidelines, Hughes says every player in his squad will have a big role to play in the Staggies’ push for Premiership survival.
Hughes added: “We have really stuck together. There have been one or two in better form but we all need to stick together.
“Everybody that we have got will have to play their part in our objective of keeping Ross County in the league. We are up for it, that is for sure.
“The disappointment and frustration from Saturday has seen one or two come and say ‘sorry gaffer, I wasn’t happy with my performance.’
“That tells us we have a right honesty at the club but it is okay talking about it, you need to do your talking on the pitch.”
Of Hughes’ five January signings, the only one yet to feature in a matchday squad has been French midfielder Mohamed Maouche.
The former Oldham Athletic player lost his mother to cancer earlier this year, with Hughes giving the 28-year-old time to get up to speed following his move to Dingwall.
Hughes hopes Maouche can make an impact in the remaining post-split fixtures, which start with the trip to Kilmarnock on April 10.
Hughes added: “When he came over we had to get him up to speed, he did the self-isolation process and then his mother got diagnosed with cancer and then she passed away.
“He had to go back but he is back here now and all credit to him.
“You can see he is a footballer. There has to be a lot of understanding for him. It might be a Mohamed back post tap-in, you might only see him for half an hour or 10 minutes and if that happens then it will all be worth it.
“I’m hoping after this week we can get a practice match in that he will benefit from.
“He has a part to play between now and the end of the season.”