John McGlynn has confessed he has ‘absolutely no idea’ when Ross Matthews will return to action following a recurrence of the toe complaint which plagued the midfielder last season.
Matthews, 25, was a notable absentee as Rovers kicked off their pre-season schedule with a comprehensive 4-1 triumph over Stranraer on Saturday.
And McGlynn revealed that the player will visit a specialist in the coming week in a bid to finally resolve the issue.
Matthews was restricted to just four appearances in the final two months of the 2020/21 campaign due to the problem and, describing the repeated attempts to cure the problem, McGlynn cut an exasperated figure.
With Regan Hendry and Adam King having departed the club, it is imperative that Raith get Matthews back on the pitch.
“A timeframe for Ross Matthews? I have absolutely no idea,” said McGlynn. “The toe injury he had towards the end of last season has resurfaced and it’s a real problem for us.
“He didn’t play much in the last quarter of the season. After the Dunfermline game [March 30], he didn’t play for a good five weeks, and he wasn’t training in the that time. He only came back a day or two before the Dunfermline playoff game [May 4].
“He has been scanned, scanned again, been for an ultrasound, an MRI, a podiatrist — and now we are going to a specialist on Wednesday. Everyone seems to know what’s wrong but no-one seems to be able to fix it!
“Hopefully, the specialist can get to the bottom of things on Wednesday because Ross is a really big player for us.
“Within our squad, his absence only leaves us with Brad [Spencer] and Dylan [Tait] from our senior group. I have a lot of confidence and belief in Aaron Arnott in that position — I think he’ll come through in time — but he’s only 17.”
Dave McKay on road to recovery
There is, however, better news regarding the luckless Dave McKay.
The 23-year-old missed the entirety of last season following a devastating cruciate knee ligament injury and, factoring in the Covid-enforced curtailment to the 2019/20 campaign, has not played a match in 16 months.
McKay suffered a hamstring strain during the opening volleys of Rovers’ pre-season — but will finally rejoin rejoin training on Monday morning.
“Dave tweaked his hamstring on the very first day back in training a couple of weeks ago but he is at a point where he can rejoin the group,” said McGlynn.
“He will be back in training with us on Monday.
“But hasn’t actually trained with the team for a year-and-a-half, so he needs to get back in the routine and get a week or two under his belt before he comes into consideration.”
Meanwhile, McGlynn confirmed that Frankie Musonda will miss the start of the Championship season, with the popular defender now likely to return to contention in the middle of August following knee surgery.
New signing Tom Lang, also rehabilitating after a recent operation, will not pull on Rovers colours until the end of July.
“These aren’t short-term injuries we have,” rued McGlynn. “But Liam Dick, who missed out against Stranraer, should be back in the coming week.”