Dundee boss Barry Smith is reeling from yet another injury blow with Mark Kerr set to spend the ”foreseeable future” on the sidelines.
The midfielder suffered a knee problem earlier this week in training and underwent a scan on Thursday to uncover the full extent of the damage.
He is certain to miss out on a return to his old stomping ground at Pittodrie on Saturday and will be joined in the stands by other injury victims, Davide Grassi, Mark Stewart, Carl Finnigan, Jamie McCluskey and skipper Stephen O’Donnell.
With Dundee five points adrift at the bottom of the SPL table, this latest setback was exactly the sort of news Smith did not want to hear as he takes his bottom of the league side north to face an in-form Aberdeen.
Smith said: ”Mark has gone for his scan. It looks as though he might be out for the foreseeable future, to be honest. It seems to be his cartilage although we will soon know for definite what the exact damage is.”
Smith added: ”It was just a challenge in training but it sums up our luck right now. It’s one thing after another but we just have to get on with it.”
Smith is one of the youngest managers in the SPL and he revealed he has tapped into the knowledge of an old hand in Falkirk’s director of football Alex Smith as he attempts to produce a turnaround at Dens.
He added: ”I want to learn and I want to do better, like any young manager. I had a wee chat with Alex earlier this week before the under-20s game with Falkirk.
”He then phoned me on Wednesday and I really appreciated him taking the time to speak to me.
”Sometimes that is what you need when you’re going through a difficult spell. He offered a different insight on one or two things which you have to take on board.
”Alex is vastly experienced and he has given me a few wee things that may change my outlook.”
The Dundee boss will need all the help he can get against a Dons side who have only lost once in the league this season, on the opening day against Celtic.
He said: ”Aberdeen are on a good run of form. They’ve got a lot of experience in their team and they’re on the way up.
”Gavin Rae, for example, was here for a while and we were fortunate to have him as he’s a great player.
”It’s a tough place to go to. We would love to get three points but a point away from home at the stage we’re at would be a good one.
”Maybe the boys will relax a bit more being away from home. They maybe get a bit nervous at home in front of our own fans. But we’ve got to do better than we have been doing irrespective of where we’re playing.”