Marc McNulty is facing a spell on the sidelines – and Dundee United boss Tam Courts could turn to the free transfer market for a replacement.
The United loan star pulled up with injury 70 minutes into his side’s 3-1 Premier Sports Cup defeat to Hibernian last Thursday.
He missed the draw with Celtic and while United are yet to assess the full extent of the injury, McNulty will miss Saturday’s clash with Ross County.
The two-times capped Scotland star will also be a major doubt for the clashes with Hibernian, Motherwell and Livingston.
Nicky Clark will lead the line for United during McNulty’s absence.
And while Courts is keen to give some of United’s youngsters the chance to shoot their way into his plans, he could move in for a new hitman.
“There’s no definitive timeline just now for Marc,” said Courts.
“We need to wait on the bruising settling down, get the scan results and give him the best possible support we can.
“But it is looking like he could be a matter of weeks.
“Since he has come back he has been really committed to what we are trying to do here.
“The goals haven’t come for him but performance levels have been good.
“He is respected and liked in the changing room.
“If we are going to have to go without him for a period of time then he is a significant loss.
“But, by the same token, Nicky Clark is a guy who can score goals at this level.
“I still feel like we are adequately covered with Louis Appere, Logan Chalmers and Darren Watson.
✍️ We are delighted to announce that Our Academy graduate Logan Chalmers has signed a contract extension until 2024.
🗣 "I want to entertain people but work hard as well. After the injury last year I'm just delighted to be back now and ready for the new season."#UnitedTogether
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) July 19, 2021
“There’s no need to panic. We are still keeping an eye on the market in terms of any free agents.
“There have been a few names that we were considering even when Marc McNulty was available.
“I do feel like we have a plan underway if we need to go to the market.
“But I also want to keep giving an opportunity to the players who are in the building.”
Tam Courts seeking Tannadice targetman with Marc McNulty out
United fans have been crying out for a new striker.
And Courts admits that is the one piece missing from the jigsaw.
“The profile of player we don’t have is one you would typically call a targetman,” said Courts.
“That’s maybe the only type of player we don’t have. With everything else I feel like we are well-stocked.
— Fantasy Football Scotland 🏴 (@FantasyScotland) April 12, 2021
“Unless it’s the right player or the right person to come in and add value to the culture here, then I don’t see the need to be nervous.
“But we need to keep doing our due diligence to keep abreast of what’s in the market.
“If something is right, then there is adequate budget to do something.”