St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has never been as disappointed for a player who has sustained an injury as he is for Keith Watson.
The Perth boss has watched the man he describes as “the best trainer” at Saints work his way back to first team action recently, after a thigh problem blighted the first few months of his debut season with the club.
Now a “pop” heard from Watson’s knee has left player and manager anxiously waiting the results of a medical examination.
It’s just as case of hoping for the best for the former Dundee United and St Mirren defender.
“Keith hurt his knee in a freakish accident in the gym,” said Wright.
“He heard a pop in his knee and his movement is restricted. I don’t want to speculate about what has happened. He is gutted but we just have to deal with it when the diagnosis comes through.
“He hasn’t had trouble with the knee since he was a kid at Dundee United.
“We’ve had to get that scanned and we are awaiting the consultant’s report now. We have to get to the bottom of it. Hopefully we will have a better idea in the next day or two.
“It is concerning because Keith has worked extremely hard and it is very disappointing for him to have picked up another injury.
“Keith is probably the best trainer we have got and that says a lot given the guys we have here. I see how hard he works every day.
“He had a full season at St Mirren and had been fine before that. We gave him the strictest medical any player has had here in the last five or six years so it is so frustrating for him. He is just so unlucky.
“Let’s hope the report is positive. But as his manager I am absolutely gutted for Keith that he has picked up another injury. It has come at a time when he has come into the side and done extremely well for us.
“I know injuries are part and parcel of football but I must say this is the most disappointed I have been for a player. Let’s hope it is something that can be easily fixed.”
Neither Steven Anderson nor David Wotherspoon will be available for tomorrow’s trip to Motherwell but the long-term picture is encouraging for them.
Wright reported: “Steven Anderson won’t make Saturday and neither will David Wotherspoon, who had a scan which showed just a slight strain in his thigh. They should both be OK for the next one. And Chris Millar is fit for this weekend.
“Zander (Clark) had a wee knock on his hip but he is over that and is training.”
Stephen Robinson has joined the ranks of the Northern Irish managers in Scottish football but his appointment shouldn’t cause confusion for Saints’ pre-game plans.
Wright said: “Motherwell have a new manager but Robbo has been in charge for the last few games so I don’t think much will change.
“We are just concentrating on ourselves. We are close to guaranteeing top six and want to get that done as soon as possible.
“One of our best performances of the season was at Motherwell early in the season when we won 2-1.
“We were superb that day. Now we have to back up the win over Dundee with a similar type of performance.
“Outside of Celtic and Aberdeen Louis Moult and Scott McDonald are two of the best front men in the league. They are a big side and have scored goals from set plays. They have just been inconsistent. That is why they are in the bottom six. But them and us have probably pushed Celtic the most this season so we expect a difficult game.
“They are trying to get clear of the relegation zone and hopefully these games suit us because teams want all three points at this stage.
“I have warned our players this is a time of the season when teams want to take points off us, they want to stop us achieving our goals.
“We have to be guarded but playing to the standard we showed against Dundee would make it extremely tough for any team we play.”