Dundee manager James McPake has stressed the duty of care the club had to Cammy Kerr and Jordan McGhee meant they had no choice but to send them for surgery.
Reminding everyone that you are dealing with “human beings not robots,” the Dens boss insisted they had to do what is best for the two players even if it means doing without two key men.
Kerr has had an operation on his knee, while McGhee has had a broken bone in his hand fixed.
The trip to the operating theatre will keep both defenders out for the rest of this month at least – a crucial stage of the season.
McPake, though, is 100% certain that the Dark Blues made the correct decision.
The Dens gaffer, whose side faces Partick Thistle at home today in the Championship, said: “We will miss both of them but there is a duty of care to these people.
“These are human beings we are dealing with – not robots.
“They can’t just go out on to the pitch and play all the time regardless.
“No time is a good time but we don’t have a game next weekend.”
The absence of such key men just adds to Dundee’s defensive, with Jordan Marshall sidelined, and explains the busier than expected transfer window than saw full-back pair Christie Elliott and Tom Field, as well as centre-back Christophe Berra, arrive at Dens.
McPake added: “I know I was maybe getting some raised eyebrows when I was defenders last week.
“Cammy got a knock in the 4-3 game against Dunfermline (on December 14) and he had been complaining of it ever since.
“We had it scanned and we knew he had a problem.
“He had been managing and was determined to play. That’s a credit to him.
“However, we’ve got to a stage with his knee where we kind of had to push him into surgery.
“Jordan has had the injury to his hand since the start of the season.
“The longer we left it the greater the risk there would be later in life.
“If a surgeon is saying there will be problems down the line, maybe with arthritis and stuff, then you have to accept that.”