Injured striker Alex Jakubiak will still play a part for Dundee this season as he continues his rehab following surgery.
The 24-year-old has had a stop-start beginning to life at Dens Park after signing for the Dark Blues in the summer following his departure from Watford.
After an ankle injury kept him out of the early stages of this season, Jakubiak featured just four times before pulling up in a 2-2 draw in Inverness at the start of December.
The Scotland U/19 international escaped the need for surgery on his ankle at the beginning of the campaign but there was no such luck with the thigh problem.
Jakubiak went under the knife on January 5 to sort out the tendon issue picked up in the Highlands.
The initial timescale for rehab and recovery was given as between two and three months but manager James McPake says everything is going to plan.
And that means he may have Jakubiak to call upon before the regular Championship season ends on April 30.
“I still think he will have a part to play this season,” said McPake.
“Alex is a big signing for us, one we beat off Premiership teams for, and was exciting for what he would bring.
“Everybody here knows how good a player he is but it’s been stop-start for him.
“Nobody is frustrated more than Alex. He’s desperate to get out there and show people what he can do.
“He’s working ever so hard after his surgery.”
‘We’ll give him time’
Jakubiak signed the same day as last season’s top scorer Kane Hemmings left Dens Park but injured his ankle in his first outing in dark blue, a friendly against Peterhead.
A reoccurrence of the problem further extended his wait to make his debut before he came off the bench against Ayr in November and impressed, despite Dundee losing the match.
He then saw a goal chopped off in the Betfred Cup defeat to Hibs before starting against Arbroath and then that match in Inverness.
A two month recovery would see him return to action in the next couple of weeks while three months would mean he is back for the final run-in of the regular season.
However, McPake is keen to avoid any further problems and will give the player time to regain full fitness.
“I’ve been that player so I can sympathise with him,” the Dens boss added.
“We’ll give him the time to get back because he’ll be an important player for this football club for years to come, hopefully.
“We want to get the injury right but it is frustrating because he is a real threat.”
Meanwhile, Dundee will have to try again to get their fixture with Ayr United played after it was called off for a fourth time yesterday afternoon.
Heavy rain on the morning of the game saw a pitch inspection called for 12.15pm and the game called off for a waterlogged pitch.
A Dundee statement read: “After heavy rainfall the club called for a pitch inspection to take place ahead of tonight’s match with Ayr United.
“A referee attended the Kilmac Stadium this afternoon and has called the match off due to the waterlogged pitch.”
The first attempt to play the fixture was on January 16 and saw Dundee brand the match official’s decision to call the match off around 2pm “a fiasco”.
That was after a morning inspection from a local referee had deemed the match playable and Ayr United travelled the long journey from the south west.
Subsequent efforts to replay the game have since been called off due to a frozen pitch and then heavy snowfall.
A new date is yet to be announced with the Dark Blues already facing midweek fixtures over the next two weeks as they also catch up on postponed games against Inverness and Dunfermline.