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EXCLUSIVE: Dundee suffer blow as Clark Robertson ruled out for start of league season

The former Aberdeen defender joined the Dark Blues last month but picked up an injury at Arbroath.

Clark Robertson warms up ahead of his first Dundee appearance.
Clark Robertson warms up ahead of his first Dundee appearance. Image: Craig Foy/SNS

Dundee have been dealt a defensive blow after new signing Clark Robertson was ruled out for the opening stages of the Premiership season.

The former Aberdeen and Blackpool defender joined the Dark Blues last month to make a return to Scottish football after departing Pittodrie in 2015.

However, his Premiership return will have to wait thanks to a hamstring injury picked up on his first appearance for the club in the opening pre-season friendly at Arbroath.

An innocuous challenge left the 30-year-old limping through the final few minutes of the first half at Gayfield.

He didn’t reappear after the break and has now been ruled out for the first few weeks of the season.

The injury, though, could have been worse.

Dundee boss Tony Docherty at East End Park. Image: SNS
Dundee boss Tony Docherty. Image: SNS

“Clark is with the physios just now,” manager Tony Docherty told Courier Sport.

“The pleasing thing for us is he doesn’t need surgery on the hamstring.

“If he did, he’d be out much longer.

“I don’t want to put him under pressure by putting a date on it or saying how many weeks and putting a timespan on it.

“But he is making progress, that’s two weeks since he did it.

“We’re hoping to have him back not long after the first international break.”

Clark Robertson signed for Dundee on Friday. Image: David Young
Clark Robertson signed for Dundee last month. Image: David Young

The first international break of the new season is the first week in September.

That would see Robertson miss the Premier Sports Cup group stage as well as the first four league matches of the new campaign.

Dundee then face Ross County away on September 14.

Who steps in?

Though Docherty admits it is tough to be without a key defender, the pre-season form of youngster Luke Graham is a silver lining.

The 20-year-old made the step up to first-team level this summer and has impressed.

“Clark’s injury is a blow but what it does do is create opportunities for others,” Docherty added.

“It’s given me a chance to see more of Luke Graham.

Luke Graham was a second-half sub for Dundee. Image: David Young
Luke Graham takes on Lech Poznan. Image: David Young

“He played well again on Wednesday, part of a back three and kept a clean sheet.

“I thought he was excellent.

“Luke is doing exceptionally well.

“It’s not a surprise because good players do that. I watched him a lot at Montrose where he had a really good loan spell.

“It was the right loan for him, a good club where Stewart Petrie looked after him and playing alongside Sean Dillon.

“He got good experience there and he’s playing alongside good players here.

“He looks really good, he’s a real big presence and he’s fitted in well.

“Being left-sided he gives the team balance.

“I’m really pleased with his progress.”

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