DUNDEE United have been dealt a fresh injury blow after Lewis Toshney was ruled out for up to six weeks with ankle ligament damage.
The summer signing from Raith Rovers was taken to hospital after being substituted in obvious pain during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Hibs at Easter Road.
The former Celtic defender underwent an x-ray amidst fears he could have suffered a broken ankle after going over on the joint in an innocuous-looking incident 10 minutes into the second-half.
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However, whilst manager Ray McKinnon has breathed a sigh of relief at the absence of any fracture, he has revealed the versatile 24-year-old is still facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
McKinnon is already without Willo Flood and Stewart Murdoch from the heart of his side and had been fielding Toshney in a defensive midfield role, but now faces even more of a selection headache.
The Tannadice boss said: “Tosher went for an x-ray after coming off and that showed he has damaged the ligaments on both sides of his ankle.
“It’s a relief that there’s no break but it’s a bad injury and it’s another blow for us.
“He’s proved in the past he’s a quick healer but he’s looking at four to six weeks out, which is really disappointing.”
Meanwhile, defender William Edjenguele insists the Championship title race is wide open – and the real runners and riders will only become clear in the New Year.
The French stopper handed the injury-hit Tangerines a massive boost to their promotion hopes with his headed equaliser in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with title favourites Hibs at Easter Road.
The stalemate left Queen of the South top of the table and United in fifth but only six points adrift with only one match left until the first round of fixtures are complete.
Edjenguele, who has had spells with Coventry City and Bury, is a key component of the new-look Tannadice side pieced together by Ray McKinnon since relegation from the top-flight last season.
And the 29-year-old believes there is plenty of football to be played before the promotion battle settles down.
He said: “For me, it’s not only about Hibs.
“Obviously they are a big club but I think most teams have a chance.
“It’s too early to talk about challenging. For me, it’s about Christmas and after that, February, March.
“Hibs are a good team but I hope we are going to be up there towards March and April.”