Dunfermline Athletic boss James McPake has revealed that Chris Hamilton has a fractured cheekbone.
But the vice-captain has not yet been ruled out of the New Year derby against rivals Raith Rovers next Tuesday.
Hamilton will sit out this weekend’s trip to face Ayr United as a precaution after picking up the injury in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Arbroath.
After taking a boot to the face from Red Lichties striker Jay Bird, the 22-year-old was taken to hospital with a ‘dent’ in his face.
Scans showed a fracture but the former Hearts youngster was relieved to be told he would not need surgery.
And, as the Fifers await further advice from specialists, the versatile midfielder is eager to quickly shrug off the facial injury.
McPake said: “Hammy [Hamilton] doesn’t require surgery on his fractured cheekbone but we are waiting on a timescale. We are delighted that he doesn’t need surgery.
“He has been in running but we will go by the timescale the specialist says.
“We have had different ones given to us, which range from days to weeks, but we do need the specialist’s opinion on that.
McPake: ‘I wouldn’t rule Tuesday out’
“With where we are at he will be out this weekend. He has been running but [has had] no contact.
“[Regarding] Tuesday I’m genuinely not sure, I think it will all come down to if we can get him to see the other specialist – and obviously we need a mask fitted to his face.
“I wouldn’t rule Tuesday out, if I’m honest.
“I know Chris is not wanting to rule Saturday out but the likelihood is that I’ll rule that one out. We would never put him in any danger.
“He didn’t want to come off last Saturday, it was the doctor’s call when he saw the dent in his cheek. He feels like he could play but we have to look at the bigger picture with it.
“There is no concussion or anything like that but there is a weakness in that structure so we definitely need the mask fitted.”
Lewis McCann joined Hamilton in being substituted with injury at Gayfield last weekend.
The striker pulled up worryingly chasing a ball down the flank and it was clear he was concerned by his hamstring.
However, the initial prognosis is that the 22-year-old is not as bad as first feared.
McPake added: “We are still waiting on the scan results for Lewis but he is feeling positive and the injury is looking positive.
“I think everybody saw the way he pulled up. He was stiff after the game but in the last couple of days he’s been feeling really good.
McPake: ‘We’re optimistic’
“We’re just waiting for the report from the scan coming back so we know exactly what we’re dealing with.
“But were optimistic. Fingers crossed the report comes back and matches how he’s looking.”
Meanwhile, McPake will continue to tread carefully with skipper Kyle Benedictus on the defender’s return from a thigh issue.
Fellow centre-half Sam Fisher is set to be available again after concussion.
And McPake commented: “Kyle is working away well. He’s got a bit of stiffness in his body, which is to be expected with the load he’s been doing after two serious injuries.
“We’ll wait and see with him. Because of the time Bene’s been out we need to be a wee bit careful with that.”