Aberdeen will be without veteran defender Andy Considine until at least Christmas after the player has surgery on a cruciate ligament injury.
Considine suffered the knee injury during Aberdeen’s ConferenceLeague play-off first leg against Qarabag in Baku last week, with Dons boss Stephen Glass believing the poor laying surface in the stadium contributed to the damage.
Glass has now confirmed that Considine is out long-term and requires an operation.
“Andy went to see a specialist yesterday, he has today had his cruciate repaired so he is going to be out beyond Christmas,” the Aberdeen manager said. “It is something that he will be able to get back from, he is a great professional, and we believe he will come back strong and ready to go not too long after Christmas hopefully.
“The first concern is for Andy himself. He is in good spirits but he is obviously going to be disappointed because he has been brilliant since we came in.
“He is an unbelievable example to young players at the club, he is a great professional, one of the best that I have ever encountered.
“So we are hugely disappointed for him but we are here to support him in his rehab and as soon as he is back in the building, everyone is here to help him get back on track.”
Aberdeen now prepare to welcome Qrabag for the decisive second leg at Pittodrie and are aiming to turn around a 1-0 deficit from the match in Azerbaijan. Success would mean progress to the Conference League group stages and a huge financial boost if they are in Friday’s draw but Glass won’t allow himself to consider that just yet.
He said: “That’s what professionals do, you plan and prepare for the here and now.
“We can control what happens in the game tomorrow night, that is the sole focus.”Anything that happens off the back of a win or getting through is what happens but professionals prepare for the 90 minutes, you try to win a game.
“We are excited and looking forward to it. I think it is going to be a special occasion.
“When we started preparing for the Hacken game, we didn’t talk about this game but we were hopeful that we were going into this situation.
“We were hopeful going away to Azerbaijan that we would still be in a position to win the game which we are.
“We know what is at stake for the club, we know what the future holds if we get through and it is something the club has been desperate for, for a number of years and we will do everything we can to get there.”