Motherwell have been dealt a blow as they chase a European spot with the news that Stuart Carswell is set to miss the rest of the season.
The young midfielder has been excellent this season and would have been a key figure in ’Well’s final five post-split fixtures.
However, after missing the last three games ’Well assistant manager Kenny Black confirmed Carswell needs to go under the knife.
He said: “Stuart has been playing through the pain barrier, but it got to a stage it just couldn’t go on any longer and he will need to go for an operation on his knee.
“We are getting short in that area of the pitch with Paul Lawson also out and Keith Lasley suspended for the visit of Celtic on Saturday, but it will just provide opportunities for others.
“There are too many games left to take any risks. Shaun Hutchinson and James McFadden are touch and go for Saturday, but if they could do with another few days then there is no point in risking them and then losing them for an even longer period.
“This is the worst run of injuries we have had since Stuart McCall and I arrived at the club, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves and will need to pull together as there is still a lot of work to do.”
Better news is that experienced defender Simon Ramsden could return before the end of the season.
Black said: “It looked like Simon was very nearly back after his knee operation, but he had a pain in the side of his knee that just wouldn’t go away.
“As such he will need to see the specialist again and we’ll take it from there, but hopefully he will return before the end of the season.”