Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn admitted he left Iain Davidson out of the starting line-up for Saturday’s draw at Stenhousemuir due to fears over the artificial surface at Ochilview.
The 35-year-old centre-back has been nursing an ongoing back problem since the defeat to Hibs in the Scottish Cup in February and a decision was taken not to risk aggravating the injury ahead of the promotion play-offs.
“Davo played here in November and was in agony for days,” said McGlynn.
“The surface out there is rock solid and he said it was the worst his body has ever felt.
“I could have played him and he might have missed the rest of the season.
“There’s two or three players who don’t train until a Thursday or Friday because we’re just nursing them along and Davo’s one of them.
“Unfortunately, that’s what you’ve got to do.”
Rovers did, however, suffer a potentially serious blow after goalkeeper Robbie Thomson was stretchered off with a suspected ruptured achilles, adding to an already lengthy injury list at the Kirkcaldy club.
It led to an extended period of injury time, during which Liam Buchanan struck to rescue a point for Rovers and, in doing so, denied Arbroath the League One title for another week, although they now require just a point.
It was cruel on bottom club Stenhousemuir who had merited their one-goal advantage given to them by Mark McGuigan’s 16th goal of the campaign.
The home side showed plenty fight in their battle to avoid the drop and had by far the better of the first half with several good openings spurned, while Thomson made a point-blank save to deny Greg Hurst.
Rovers improved towards half-time and Nathan Flanagan raced clear but was unable to beat Graeme Smith.
Stenny took the lead on 58 minutes when they caught the Raith centre-halves out of position, with Hurst and McGuigan exchanging headers before the latter slotted the ball beyond Thomson.
Kevin Nisbet volleyed wide and Euan Murray saw a header cleared off the line as Raith pressed for a leveller, which arrived in the 93rd minute as a sliced clearance from defender Morgyn Neill forced his goalkeeper to palm the ball out and substitute striker Buchanan was on hand to blast home.
“There wasn’t an awful lot in it,” McGlynn added.
“The positives for us is that we kept going right to the end, as we did last week, unfortunately we just couldn’t get another one.
“We lost a goal that we would be disappointed to lose but I thought we did better in the second half than we did in the first.”
Stenny boss Colin McMenamin said: “Everyone will tell you we deserved to win that game.”