Dundee United’s attempt to have midfielder Jeando Fuchs see a surgeon is being frustrated by the coronavirus crisis.
The Cameroon international is feared to have damaged his knee ligaments during last month’s home game against Motherwell but has yet to receive a definitive diagnosis.
The Tangerines had hoped to get him seen by a medical expert this week but have been thwarted so far.
Tannadice boss Micky Mellon said: “We keep using this Covid thing but it is difficult to get him in to see the relevant specialist at the right time.
“It is a strange one.
“In and around the place he feels fine but the scan that we got showed there was something we might have to concern ourselves with.
“He is telling us that he is feeling fine – that’s the confusion about it.
“That is why we want to get him in to see the specialist, Covid-allowing, as soon as possible and then we will be able to know more ourselves but, at the moment, that’s where that one is.
“It is frustrating for Jeando and for us as well,” added Mellon.
“It is just not as easy to get in to see people now.
“They are dealing with backlogs and things like that but we are down to see him (the surgeon) as soon as possible and urgently because we believe Jeando is a really important player for us.”
There was some extremely positive news regarding frontman Marc McNulty, whom Mellon feared had a possible stress fracture on his ankle.
That does not appear to be the case and the Scotland man, who sat out the goalless draw with Aberdeen on Saturday, has returned to the training pitch.
Mellon said: “He is fine, trained today and is back in the group.”
As expected, Calum Butcher will miss Saturday’s home clash with St Johnstone but should be OK for the subsequent trip to Hamilton.
Peter Pawlett is suspended for Saints, while Logan Chalmers is making good progress according to Mellon.
He said: “He is now running so we are looking at him because we have a game coming up in a week or two for the lads who need to get some match action in. We are hoping that Logan can take some part in that.”
Mellon now has a selection headache over wideman Paul McMullan, who has just agreed a pre-contract deal with city neighbours Dundee.
The United gaffer stressed that he wants to deal in players who want to be at his club so McMullan may have to sit on the sidelines for now and hope the teams can agreed a deal to get him across the road this month instead of waiting.
Mellon said: “It all happened very quickly.
“The situation as everyone knows at Dundee United means we are not ready to proceed with a contract for Paul McMullan at the minute and he decided that he wanted to carry on and sign a contract with Dundee.
“That’s what Paul has decided he wanted to do.
“I like Paul and in my head I have a way that we want us to eventually play, and I want to play with attacking width at some stage.
“It’s just that at this minute I think there are some games when we have to compensate for who we are playing against but I certainly saw Paul as being part of what we wanted to do moving forward.
“I also want people who want to be here and I have said that to Paul, so I am not throwing anyone under a bus here.
“The opportunity now is for me to promote from my academy when the opportunity arises and I will be able to do that because there are some talented boys there like Logan Chalmers and Kai Fotheringham, who I will look to step forward. I’ve also got Luke Bolton who can play there as well.”
Asked if he was surprised by McMullan’s decision to make the move, Mellon added: “You would probably have to ask him.
“Is it down to the situation in football at the minute, where players are trying to absolutely get something concrete now when the opportunity comes and they do not want to lose out on that? If something comes along they want to take that?
“I would be wrong to tell you what I would do because I am not Paul McMullan. That’s what Paul has decided he wants to and like you say he is entitled to do that. He’s in the last six months of his contract and that’s the way things roll now.”
Asked if McMullan was, before the news broke, in his thought for the St Johnstone game, Melllon said: “He was but, like I say, we have to make a decision for Dundee United now.”
Meanwhile, Mellon was delighted to hear that his squad – as he predicted they would – have accepted wage cuts to help the club deal with the financial pressures posed by the virus.
He said: “They were always open to doing it.
“We don’t have a problem with them – good people – and we understand we are in a difficult period with the pandemic, which has got worse.
“We all have different and individual situations at home. The club is very aware of that, too, while clearly it has its own difficulties.
“So it was about making sure we came to a place that was satisfactory in the circumstances.
“We knew we had to make a sacrifice, the players knew they had to make a sacrifice.
“But it’s also about making sure it’s doable. The staff did it two months ago and now the players have done it.
“The fact we did it earlier doesn’t make us any better. It was just a decision the staff felt we were ready to do straightaway.
“The players had to stick together because there’s more of them and make sure they got to right the place for all of them as a group.
“And I think now that they’ve done that we’ll just carry on with what we’ve been doing anyway.
“I don’t think anyone’s allowed the situation to affect them – and I think that’s another great credit to the lads.”