St Johnstone manager Steven MacLean now has EIGHT senior pros sidelined through injury and is highly likely to be without six of them for the start of the Premiership season.
As a result, the Perth boss is getting ready to adapt his transfer plans to deal with a crisis that shows no sign of significantly easing.
Of those who missed the 4-0 defeat to Stirling Albion at the weekend, only Drey Wright and Graham Carey have a strong chance of featuring in the league opener against Hearts.
Sam McClelland should be in contention to make a Saints debut, with the McDiarmid Park club waiting on the paperwork of his two-year deal to be concluded.
And, given his lack of numbers, MacLean is hoping that it won’t take too long before the signing count rises further.
“With the injury situation we might need to look at things if some don’t clear up soon,” he said.
“We had seven senior first team players, who had played hundreds of games in the Premiership, who weren’t available on Saturday.
“You can add (suspended) Taylor Steven who would have played because we didn’t have anyone wide – hence the shape we played, which I don’t want to play. Ever.
“I don’t consider that one my formations but needs must.
“It was forced upon us.
“I’m not using excuses. We should still have won the game. We still had enough with that team.
“I include senior and younger players in that. We will seriously need to look at things if the situation doesn’t clear up.
“We will know more in the next week or so. Then we’ll need to react from that.”
St Johnstone injuries
MacLean gave an update on his injury list, with Nicky Clark set to undergo another scan on his ankle.
“Callum Booth has a back spasm,” he reported. “He was meant to play at the weekend but could hardly walk.
“He’s been on painkillers. It depends how it settles down.
“Ali Crawford is a recurring calf problem. He tried to run and felt it.
“That could be two, three weeks or maybe more.
“James Brown felt his calf at the weekend. He’s a big doubt for Saturday.
“Chris Kane’s ankle is no better.
“He’s going to see someone on Friday so we will know more then hopefully.
“Nicky Clark needs another scan. He will see the specialist.
“He tried to run and wasn’t comfortable with it. We have to go back and address it again.
“Carey and Wright will hopefully be fit.
“Cammy MacPherson is a strain on the bottom of his foot. He might get something done on Friday to speed the process up.
“I wouldn’t like to put a timescale on that. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.
“It’s not great.
“But what I will say is that Saturday was still not acceptable performance wise and they know that.”
‘Make or break’
The four-goal defeat will have been a chastening experience for the teenagers and players in their early 20s who MacLean had no option but to turn to.
And it could be a “make or break” one.
“For the young ones, ideally you’d just like to dip them in one or two at a time,” said MacLean. “Not them all together.
“It’s difficult for them but sometimes it can make or break you.
“It’s a harsh reality and young Liam Parker got his debut. He was desperate for that.
“He’s got to use it as a springboard, know what you’ve got to do better and learn from it.”