Ray McKinnon has admitted his Dundee United squad feels “lightweight” when it comes to fit defenders ahead of the clash with Dunfermline.
The in-form and free-scoring Pars have found the net 21 times in just seven Championship matches so just when the Tannadice boss would love to report a clean bill of health for his backline he is left short of numbers for the trip to East End Park on Saturday.
The heart scare for Paul Quinn means he is booked in to see a cardiologist this week; Lewis Toshney is ruled out for at least three weeks after damaging his ankle ligaments; the expected return to training of Tam Scobbie has had to be delayed after he hurt his calf; and William Edjenguele sat out training after picking up a knock.
Understandably, McKinnon’s greatest concern surrounds the health of Quinn.
The United manager said: “Paul is still away from the club.
“He is waiting on a heart scan, which will happen this week.
“He has to see the cardiologist.
“We want to get to the bottom of it and Paul does too.
“It is a concern when it’s the heart but we are hoping the cardiologist gives him the all-clear.
“We would love him to be back here fit and playing and he would like that to be the case as well.
“We are a bit light at the back and are really left with four fit defenders.
“It is not ideal so we would love Paul to get back fit and healthy as soon as possible.
“We will just have to wait and see what the cardiologist says.
“His health comes first. He has a problem and we need to address it.”
As for Toshney, McKinnon confirmed: “It will be three weeks minimum for him and I am so disappointed for him.”
Scobbie hasn’t played since the Dundee derby on August 9 but the hope was that he would be back involved this week.
However, that hasn’t happened.
McKinnon added: “Tam has had a setback with his calf.
“It is probably just a case of trying to do too much to compensate for his hip.
“So that’s a blow for him and it could be another couple of weeks before he is back.
“We also have big William not managing to train because of a knock.
“It’s not great because we have been looking a bit more solid at the back since that one game (against St Mirren) when it just didn’t go right for us.
“Paul McMullan has also missed training because he has a bit of a hamstring problem.
“However, we still hope some of those who have missed training will be fine for Saturday.”