St Johnstone midfielder Ali Crawford suffered a suspected torn groin at the weekend.
The on-loan playmaker has been an instant hit at McDiarmid Park since arriving from Bolton Wanderers, featuring in all five games, starting three and scoring in one.
He was brought off just before the hour-mark in Saturday’s 3-1 victory against Dundee and Callum Davidson is now hoping the former Hamilton Accies star won’t be faced with a long lay-off.
“We think Ali has torn his groin,” said Davidson. “So we will have to wait on it settling down before we know how long it’s likely to keep him out for.
“It’s really disappointing because he’s been excellent since he joined us.
“He stepped in at the right time when Craig Bryson, Cammy MacPherson and Murray Davidson were missing, despite not having played much.
“And I felt he was getting better and better. So hopefully he won’t be out for too long.”
A good month
Meanwhile, as the Premiership goes on hold again for international football, Davidson looked back on his team’s record of three wins and two defeats since the last break with satisfaction.
“When you consider the players we’ve been missing you’d have to say that this last month has been a positive one for us,” he said.
“I’m really pleased with how the boys have reacted to a tough August.
St Johnstone came out on top in the Tayside derby, courtesy of Chris Kane's first-half brace! 💥
Highlights 👇 pic.twitter.com/XVCwA1wsxe
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) October 2, 2021
“We’re now starting to see goals and wins. Saturday’s performance and result was a great way to go into the international break.
“We felt hard done by in the Hibs game and we used that as a bit of motivation against Dundee.
“Aberdeen was probably our worst performance but we got a win that day. On the whole, I’m really pleased with our performance level.”
With seven options now open to him for central defence, Davidson can view that area of his squad as one with depth and quality.
“If we’d had four defenders out last year, we’d probably only have had one left,” said the Saints boss.
“We were very fortunate that Jamie (McCart), Jason (Kerr) and Liam (Gordon) rarely got injured.
“It was something we looked at.
“Seeing how we did without any of those three for the first time was the most pleasing thing for me, with Lars (Dendoncker) making his debut.
“It was his first senior game, I think.”