St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson has admitted that the absence of Ryan Strain will be “a blow” after revealing that the player will be out for around three months.
The Australia international injured his groin while playing for his country against Palestine and Robinson said last week that the problem looked like it would be keeping him out for “weeks rather than days”.
Strain has since had a scan and will require an operation, meaning months on the sidelines.
“Ryan’s gone to London for surgery,” Robinson said. “Unfortunately he’ll have surgery and he’ll be out for somewhere in the region of three months.
“It’s a huge blow for us but it’s up to other people to step up to the plate now. It’s a small squad and gets tested to the limit with injuries, especially long-term ones.
“But we’re no different to anyone else. I don’t work on an excuse mentality, I work on the basis that somebody else will get an opportunity and a chance to prove that they should be in the side and make up for Ryan’s loss.”
Strain joined St Mirren in 2022 after leaving Maccabi Haifa and his performances on the right flank of the team have been key to the side’s successes over the last two seasons.
The 26-year-old has played his part in last season’s top-six finish and a start to this campaign that has the team sitting third in the league after 14 games.
Robinson admitted it was a loss not being able to count on a valuable player who is in the last year of his contract, but preferred to look at the situation as a chance for others to shine.
“Ryan’s been a big, integral part of what we’ve done in terms of a relative bit of success,” he said.
“It’s a blow but you can’t feel sorry for yourself. He’ll get the best medical treatment possible and we’ve got the best physio around that will help him get back.
“He has to buy in to that, have the right attitude and work ethic that Jonah Ayunga had to come back from a long-term injury.
“His aim as a young man has to be to come back stronger and fitter than he was before.
“Things are in his hands as to what he does for the following season but he’ll be back long before that, we hope.”
The manager is preparing his players for a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers on Sunday and wants a response after a flat performance on Tuesday saw St Mirren lose 1-0 to Ross County in Dingwall.
Asked what was needed to produce a result against the odds this weekend, Robinson said that the mental side of the game was key.
“We need belief,” he said. “We’ve got the talent.
“Our lessons from Tuesday night… my biggest frustration wasn’t in losing the game. If we had drawn it I would still have been frustrated with our performance because we didn’t put our stamp or style on the game.
“Ross County were able to do that. We didn’t have ownership of the game and without that you can’t be in control of it.
“That has to be what we do at Ibrox.
“We have to have a belief that when we are on the ball we can play. We believe that we’ve got players that can hurt Rangers in certain areas.
“You have ups and downs and it’s never going to be a smooth journey as a manager or as a squad but what we have is a group of boys that believe in each other. We looked like we didn’t have that on Tuesday for periods, we spoke about it and we’ll be better for it.”
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