Dunfermline’s promotion play-off hopes have been dealt a huge blow with the news top scorer Kevin Nisbet could be out for a lengthy spell with an ankle injury.
The 22-year-old missed Wednesday’s goalless draw with Arbroath after having to be substituted during the second-half of Saturday’s victory over Dundee United.
The former Partick Thistle and Raith Rovers striker was sent for a scan on Monday and the tests revealed damaged ankle ligaments.
It has been suggested the summer signing could be missing for six weeks, which would rule him out of all but the final three games of the regular league season.
Having knocked back substantial six-figure bids for the player from Dundee United and Hibernian during the January transfer window, Nisbet’s absence would be a massive setback for the Pars as they bid to lift themselves into the top-four.
However, manager Stevie Crawford insists he does not want to speculate on the 23-goal marksman’s lay-off until the Fifers have received more expert advice.
He said: “It is a blow. We had to get Kevin scanned but I don’t want to say something until I’ve got medical feedback.
“So, in terms of timescale, we’re just having to see day by day where we’re at with him.
“Until we get the medical advice, I don’t want to say it’s a matter of weeks or days. He got the scan on Monday and we got the report back 24 hours later, so now it’s just a case of addressing where we’re at and how to go ahead with his rehab.
“He’s a big part, he’s scored the goals and it’s not ideal, but it’s a collective effort and there’s a hunger amongst the players that if Kevin’s not fit for a number of games they’re ready to step in.
“He’s looking after himself just now, he’s asking what medical stuff he should be doing, he’s going up and doing what he can in the gym.
“When we find out the actual specifics of what it is, then we’ll deal with it and face what we have to face.”
Meanwhile, in a separate injury blow, defender Lee Ashcroft is a major doubt for Saturday’s visit of Queen of the South after damaging his knee against Arbroath.
Crawford added: “Lee came off in the dying minutes against Arbroath and for Lee to come off there’s obviously an issue there.
“But we’ll need to wait to see where he’s at.
“He came down and landed awkwardly and he didn’t feel the stability was there in his knee. He’s an honest boy.
“There’s restriction in the movement in his knee but we’ll know more on Friday.”