Aberdeen defender Mikey Devlin has been hit by another injury blow after being ruled out for three months.
The Scotland international suffered a lower leg injury in a freak training-ground incident this week and faces surgery.
The 27-year-old had only made his first two appearances of the season off the bench in the recent double header against St Mirren after suffering a hamstring injury in pre-season.
Dons boss Derek McInnes said: “Mikey Devlin has picked up an injury again, which is a real blow.
“He took a sore one, he has had it scanned and unfortunately he is going to need an operation on a tendon injury, which is going to keep him out probably three months.
“Totally innocuous, it was a shot from Ryan Hedges that he blocked at training on Tuesday. When you look at the incident I am surprised at the nature of the damage.
“I feel sorry for the boy, he has had such a hard time.
“We arranged a game last Tuesday against Celtic for him to play in but he felt his groin tighten. He trained later in the week and managed to come off the bench on Saturday but he has not started a competitive game since February, and littered in between then and now there have been various injuries.
“It’s so frustrating for him and disappointing.”
The centre-back missed the entire 2017-18 season after suffering cruciate ligament damage in his final game for Hamilton and also missed three months of his first campaign at Pittodrie with a foot problem.
McInnes vowed the club would do all they could to help Devlin deal with the latest blow.
“No matter how many times Mikey has been through this, we shouldn’t just assume he knows how to deal with it,” he said.
“Having had a lot of injuries myself as a player, it’s normally just about getting your operation and then doing your rehab and working towards it.
“Sometimes when injuries accumulate there is that, ‘why me?’ and you can feel sorry for yourself.
“But Mikey has been through a lot in his career and he has always come out the other end. This is just another test for him.
“We are extremely disappointed, selfishly, right away you think, ‘we are without a good player’. But the main concern is for Mikey to get the operation and get back as quickly as possible.”
Aberdeen will still be without Niall McGinn and Dylan McGeouch for Saturday’s Scottish Premiership clash with Ross County.
“They will probably get a full week’s training before next weekend’s game,” McInnes said.
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