BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
DUNFERMLINE manager Allan Johnston is hopeful keeper Sean Murdoch could be back within a month after missing the whole of the league build-up with a wrist injury.
Murdoch was a key performer as the Pars romped to the League One title last term but has been sidelined so far this summer with an on-going problem with a bone in his wrist.
The former Hamilton Accies and Hibs goalie has been forced to watch David Hutton start the Fifers’ Betfred Cup campaign between the sticks, keeping clean sheets against Arbroath and Cowdenbeath but conceding five against Inverness Caley Thistle on Tuesday.
But Johnston is optimistic Murdoch could return to action next month if he gets the green light from medical staff.
The Dunfermline boss told Capital City Press: “Sean’s out with a wrist injury. He can do some running and stuff but we’re just going to rest his wrist just now.
“We’re just under the advice of the specialist.
“Hopefully within another three weeks or so we should have him back.
“We’ll make sure he’s right before he comes back because it’s a long season and we need everybody available.”
Meanwhile, Johnston remains on the look-out for a new striker as he seeks to bolster his attacking options.
The East End Park boss did not offer Ryan Wallace a new deal and has seen out-of-contract top scorer Faissal El Bakhtaoui go on trial at Blackburn Rovers, with only Gavin Reilly arriving on loan from Hearts.
The Pars did have towering 6’5” former Scotland under-19 cap Mark Beck on trial for a spell during pre-season but Johnston insists that should not be viewed as an indication he wants to bring in a target man.
He added: “We’re just looking at different options, something we think will benefit us.
“Obviously, I like mobility and people who can run, but it’s always good to have different options as well, whether that is a big, physical striker or not.
“But we don’t want to change the way we play, we don’t want to go direct, route one, and playing off a big striker. That’s the problem when you start bringing in a target-man type striker.”