Dundee United midfielder Paul Paton will need an operation to fix the knee injury that has kept him out of the team.
Paton hasn’t played for the Tangerines since the 1-0 home win over Hamilton Accies on April 11 and was left at home when the squad went on their pre-season trip to the Netherlands.
It has now emerged that he will require surgery and therefore could be sidelined for some time.
Tannadice assistant manager Simon Donnelly confirmed: “Paul is going to need an op on his knee.
“He has had a setback there.
“He has been feeling it over the last wee while and he is going to have to get it looked at.
“It was a previous injury that has flared up.
“We thought over the summer that rest would cure it but he has felt it in the last week or so and now he is going to have to do something about it.
“It is too early to say how long he is going to be out until the specialist has fully assessed it but it looks like surgery is inevitable because rest isn’t working.
“He is obviously very frustrated about it.”
Meanwhile, Donnelly admitted that a move for frontman Henri Anier might benefit the player, although it may not be at reported loan deal suitors Partick Thistle.
The United number two said: “There has been no change in his situation.
“I don’t know if the gaffer has spoken to him but Henri has obviously had a look at it himself and, having not been in the squad at the weekend, it might be beneficial for him to go and try to play elsewhere.
“Whether that’s at Partick Thistle or not, I’m not sure.”
Former United skipper Jon Daly was at St Andrews for training again yesterday as he mulls over a possible switch to South Africa.