Dundee boss Jim McIntyre has confirmed that club captain Josh Meekings will almost certainly miss the rest of the season as he needs an operation to cure a hip problem.
The 26-year-old defender has not played for the Dark Blues since September 1 when he had to come off at half-time against Motherwell at Dens.
The club medical staff had been trying to cure the problem with a conservative course of injections but the latest has not worked as hoped and Meekings will now go under the knife early next month.
McIntyre said: “Josh will go for surgery on the 12th.
“It needs to happen because he has been in limbo with it for too long now.
“The injections he has had have not made that much of a difference.
“It is a big blow to lose your captain because that will pretty much rule him out for the season.”
However, McIntyre revealed there was better news on two other injured players – striker Benji Kallman and winger Roarie Deacon, with the former recovering well after a knee op and the latter’s latest thigh injury not as bad as first feared.
The manager added: “Benji has had his tidy-up.
“There was just a small tear in the cartilage but the surgeon is really pleased with it.
“Gerry Docherty (physio) is saying he is doing great so hopefully he will be back quicker than the three-week period that we spoke about.
“So it was good to just get him in and get it done.
“Roarie’s scan was great and it is really good news. It is not the original injury so that whole tendon issue he had previously has totally healed.
“It was just a wee separate minor one which won’t be too long.”
McIntyre admitted there were a few other bumps and bruises from last Saturday’s game against Hibs.
However, there was nothing serious to report with the players still on a high after coming back from 2-0 down to secure a well-earned draw at Easter Road.
McIntyre added: “Results give players that wee bit of a bounce.
“They thoroughly deserved their draw. We got into so many good positions as well.
“Watching the game back, you can show the players there were so many positives and it is important they see that as it was stuff we had worked at on the training ground in the previous week.
“What we didn’t have was the final part often enough and that’s what we will continue to work on.
“But we got into the right areas because we took on board what we had worked on during the week.
“It is just about when we get into these areas we capitalise on it.”