St Johnstone are searching for a new back-up goalkeeper after their early-season injury problems intensified when Ross Sinclair suffered a broken arm in a closed-doors friendly earlier this week.
The 22-year-old, who was on the bench for last weekend’s cinch Premiership defeat by Hearts, underwent surgery on Tuesday and faces a substantial period on the sidelines.
Manager Steven MacLean, whose squad was already stretched due to various fitness problems, is now on the hunt for a new keeper to provide competition and cover for recently-signed number one Dimitar Mitov.
“First and foremost, our well wishes go to Ross,” said the Saints boss. “It’s a nightmare for the kid, he’s had a few bumps along the way already.
“He’s a positive boy and he’ll come back stronger from it. We’ll give him all the support we can and help him along the way.”
Asked about the timescale for Sinclair’s absence, MacLean said: “We’re not sure yet. We’ve got to speak to the specialist but he’ll missing for a long period.”
The manager revealed the search has already begun for someone to fill the void left by Sinclair, who started two of Saints’ four Viaplay Cup group matches.
“We’re actively looking,” he said. “We’ve got a few things on the go so we’ll see where we are in the next couple of days.”
Sinclair joins Callum Booth, Nicky Clark, Chris Kane, Ali Crawford, Cammy MacPherson and James Brown on a lengthy absentee list for this Saturday’s trip to Ross County, while Drey Wright is also likely to remain sidelined.
MacLean explained that Saints are doing everything in their power to keep their players fit.
“You look at everything when you pick up injuries,” he said. “We’re always looking at how we can improve but a lot of them are carried on from last year so there aren’t many fresh injuries.
“The Ross Sinclair one is just a freak, you can’t do anything about that.”