Aberdeen Women have been dealt a harsh reminder about the importance of squad depth after two of their players sustained ACL injuries.
On-loan goalkeeper Faye Kirby has returned to Liverpool, while midfielder Laura Holden is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after both ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in one of their knees in a SWPL match against Hibernian.
They are not the only players to have suffered the devastating injury, with this column giving me a case of deja vu as I wrote about the same topic less than a year ago.
But the situation at Aberdeen feels like an emergency with those two players being integral in what was already a light squad.
Both players joined the club this summer after moving up from England. Getting used to the demands of their new environment will have put a lot of stress on their bodies and may well be a factor in this recent setback.
However, it can be hard to determine the cause of an ACL injury.
Manger Clint Lancaster has been working with a squad lacking bodies so the ACL injuries are a big blow.
When Lancaster was appointed he made three new summer signings, with two of those – Kirby and Holden – now ruled out for the rest of the campaign.
The injuries are devastating for the two players and it puts a lot of pressure on those who are fit.
The squad should have been bolstered more than it was at the start of the season and a full-time manager should have been appointed well before Lancaster’s arrival, so the groundwork for transfers could have been made much sooner.
In January, Lancaster will need to be backed in the transfer window. The hope now is they can come through unscathed until then.
The team made an impressive start to the season and have picked up four wins from eight which has given them a solid platform amid this injury crisis.
Mental battles can be hardest part of ACL recovery
The recovery from an ACL injury is not linear and it differs from player to player.
There are the physical milestones you have to reach to get back to full fitness – which is the same for everyone – but it is the mental side of the rehab which can be the hardest thing to overcome.
When I did my ACL in November 2012, I felt lucky to be working full-time outside of football as it gave me another focus and distraction.
The people I worked with were not my team-mates or coaches, whereas suffering knee injuries in a full-time football environment can sometimes feel all-consuming.
If you’re in with the club every day, you’re surrounded by the conversation of how you are doing and the progress you are making.
The progress can involve setbacks, but it is how you deal with them which can make the difference.
Until you’ve gone through this rehab, it is difficult to understand or relate to the experience. I wish Faye and Laura well in their respective recoveries and hope to see them back playing as soon as possible.
Caroline Weir and Emma Watson can bounce back from injury setbacks
My Scotland team-mates Caroline Weir and Emma Watson are also set for long periods out after they suffered ACL injuries while on international duty.
I have spoken to both players since it happened.
Caroline has been very robust throughout her career. This is the first long-term injury she has suffered and as a result has been available for many games for club and country during her career.
She will be backed during her recovery by her club Real Madrid, who have a fantastic set-up, and will have the support of her club and country team-mates.
We are people who understand what she is going through at the moment and will be there for her during the difficult times because some of us have been through them too.
Emma is only 17 years old and has just moved away from home after signing for Manchester United from Rangers.
That will have been a difficult enough transition and she will hopefully be getting the right support from her club during this time.
You can never guarantee what kind of path recovery will take you on, but I feel confident that both players will come back stronger. They both have great attitudes and fundamental habits which will help them throughout their rehabs.