Dundee goalkeeper Scott Bain will play no part in the club’s massive match against Kilmarnock.
The Dark Blues’ shot-stopper is the subject of a disciplinary matter at the club and last played for the first team against Hamilton Accies on October 28.
He was subsequently on the bench for a development game against Partick Thistle, dropped for Dundee’s last Premiership fixture – a 2-1 loss to Hibs at Easter Road – then played 90 minutes for the under-20s against Motherwell.
Bain’s omission from Tuesday night’s development match against the Hibees at Oriam seemed to hint that he might be in line for a recall to the senior side for the Premiership crunch clash against Killie at Dens Park on Saturday.
However, an emphatic answer from manager Neil McCann put paid to that speculation.
Asked if Bain would be available for selection for what is probably bottom-of-the-table Dundee’s biggest game of the season so far, McCann replied: “No.”
One man who is likely to feature against the Ayrshire side, even from the bench, is playmaker Scott Allan.
Allan, who is on a season-long loan from Celtic, got the full 90 minutes of the development match in Edinburgh and is on the brink of a return to senior action after recovering from groin surgery.
McCann confirmed: “Scott is ready for selection. I don’t think he is going to be absolutely 100% but he came through the full (development) game against Hibs.
“He is one of many talented players we’ve got and his assists at the start of the season from dead balls and general play were very important to us. So it’s nice to have him back.”
Midfielder Lewis Spence was using crutches yesterday – McCann said it was done as a precaution – and must be considered a doubt for the Killie match.
The manager added: “We are being cautious there because he has gone over on his ankle in training.
“We will see how he is tomorrow and hopefully he is not too bad.”
Meanwhile, Dens club captain James McPake has taken another major step towards playing again.
Out for just under two years since damaging his knee in the 2016 New Year derby win over Dundee United, the 33-year-old has resumed full training.
It could still be around the turn of the year before the central defender is fit enough to be considered for first-team action, though.
If all goes well, he is expected to start playing at development level in the next few weeks, with Tuesday’s second-string game against Hibs coming too soon for him.
McCann added: “James has got no pressure on him whatsoever to come back.
“He will come back when he’s ready.
“It’s great for us to see him back on the training ground with his boots.
“So often when you’ve got big injuries you forget what it’s like to be a footballer and you don’t feel like a footballer anymore.
“It becomes a real battle of the mental state.
“To get a bit of freedom for him and (to be) back on the training field, where he is close to us and can hear us, it must be great for him and we’re delighted for him, but in terms of his comeback, there’s no time frame, no pressure.
“I said to James the other day in the gym that even though he’s back in the gym now, if he wants a couple of days away from here, he takes them, and that is important at this stage of his rehab.”