Aberdeen Grammar hope to see light at the end of the tunnel in their injury crisis ahead of this weekend’s trip to Currie.
Grammar’s start to the season has been beset by issues, namely seeing a full-team of players on the treatment table as they try to get up and running in the Premiership.
The Rubislaw outfit sit bottom of the division without a win to date, with a visit to the second-placed Chieftains probably low on their wishlist.
Despite losing prop Calum Reddish to a hamstring problem in last weekend’s 24-0 defeat to Hawick, Mark New and Bryn Perrott could be closing in on returns while Carwyn Walker played on Saturday after his first campaign for Grammar had been hampered by back trouble.
Team manager John Stewart is hopeful luck starts to turn for the club, reflecting on what has been the most disrupted beginning to a season during his time at Grammar.
He said: “I know other clubs in the league have been affected quite badly but I’d think we’re up there with the worst now.
“We should have Mark New back in contention in the next couple of weeks once he regains fitness, the same with Bryn Perrott.
“But it’s definitely been the most difficult start to the season I’ve experienced being at the club over the last seven years.”
Forward Ross Anderson is expected to return to the fold for the weekend, having recently become a father and having to spend time working off-shore.
The absentee list came after a delayed start for Grammar, owing to a Covid outbreak at the club which saw the postponement of their first league game against Edinburgh Accies.
Stewart has a huge degree of sympathy for head coach Ali O’Connor, who has been short on good fortune in the early rounds of games.
He added: “I feel for Ali – it just doesn’t seem to get any easier. Hopefully that will clear up quite soon.
“In the past the club have had ups and downs but I feel this time it’s purely related to injury and availability. Everything else seems to be fine behind-the-scenes.
“Every week it seems to be another one on to the injury list. Ali is the one I feel for the most in this situation, as it’s never easy when you’re looking for that first win.”
Currie have won four of their first five fixtures and sit only behind Marr at the top of the Premiership.
Stewart added: “It’s probably not the easiest place to go when you’re lacking numbers. Realistically you need 20 of the best boys you’ve got all firing but I’m sure we’ll give a good account of ourselves down there.
“Once we get Currie out the way with, we can hit the ground running against GHA and Selkirk. Looking at the expected return times for some of these players, hopefully we will have them coming back in for these games. That will make a massive difference.
“By and large, the squad is pretty similar to the one that finished fifth in our last full season. We can play good rugby, it’s just a difficult start to the season and I think sometimes people don’t realise what an injury issue we’ve had.
“It’s testament to the club that last weekend, while both teams got beat, we managed to field two teams with 19 players injured.”