It will be an injury-hit St Johnstone team that faces Kilmarnock tomorrow afternoon but it won’t be a “weakened” one, according to manager Tommy Wright.
The Perth boss, who abandoned yesterday’s training session at Stirling University when Storm Doris was wreaking havoc in central Scotland, confirmed that the four men who were doubts at the start of the week have all now been ruled out.
And the quartet will be joined in the McDiarmid Park Main Stand by suspended Liam Craig.
“We have a few players ruled out,” Wright reported. “Murray Davidson, Keith Watson, Danny Swanson and Graham Cummins will all miss out with injury. And Liam Craig is suspended.
“But I have total faith in the players we have here. We have a squad that is strong in depth and we have coped with players missing already this season.
“This is a time of year when you expect the squad to be tested. We had Swanson and Cummins ruled out at Ross County and Paul Paton was suspended. Then Davidson had to come off early on. We handled it and came back down the road with a very important win.
“Obviously as a manager you want to choose from as many players as possible but we won’t have a weakened team.”
Wright isn’t yet able to put a time-frame on Davidson’s absence.
“Murray has had a scan on his hip and has to see a specialist now,” he said. “Until that happens a return date would just be guesswork.
“He had a hip issue six years ago. The scan has shown up something but we are hopeful it is just from the old injury. The specialist will be able to compare the two scan results and we can take it from there.”
Wright added: “We have to be careful with Danny’s knee. We don’t want him to be out any longer than necessary. Hopefully he will be ready for Rangers in midweek.
“Keith has a slight hamstring strain and he will be out for one or two weeks. He played really well coming on in Dingwall so it is disappointing for him.”
Training yesterday wasn’t an option for Saints, Wright admitted.
He said: “It was an easy decision to call off training because the roads were so bad. I made an attempt to get to Stirling but you have to think of the safety of players travelling.
“To be fair the pitches at the university wouldn’t have been playable anyway. We couldn’t access an indoor facility at such short notice so we told the lads to forget about travelling and do a bit on their own at home.
“We will be looking to train on the all-weather pitch at McDiarmid on Friday and get our preparations done for the game.”
The twin aims for Saints of keeping the chasing Premiership pack at a safe distance and closing in on Hearts and Rangers remain the motivation going into the Killie game.
Wright said: “We want to win to get nearer to the tally which will guarantee top six. That is still the first target. But we also want to win because we have got ourselves into a good position behind Hearts and Rangers at this stage of the season.
“If you look at the teams in the bottom six right now there are a lot of draws. It is so tight. Kilmarnock will still have an eye over their shoulder in terms of the bottom end of the table. But we know what they are capable of.
“I watched them against Aberdeen and they were only seven minutes away from what would have been a massive victory for them.
“We have to make sure we start the game well, as we did last week at Ross County.”