Dundee will be without Darren O’Dea for the next two Premiership games after he was sent off for the second time this season.
The club captain was given his marching orders in the 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock at the weekend after receiving bookings for two rash challenges.
The Ireland international was also sent off for two bookings in the 3-2 win over St Johnstone, for which he missed one game.
He will be absent from crucial matches against Rangers this Friday and Ross County a week on Saturday.
Despite only being a third of the way through the season, the skipper has received a card in six of the eight games he has appeared in.
He would have appeared in the Dark Blues 1-1 draw at Killie in September but missed out due to suspension and was absent for five other games due to injury and not making the starting line-up.
Should the 30-year-old be sent off again this season, he will be handed a three match ban.
The SFA judicial panel protocol point 4.1 states: “Where a player is reported for a sending off offence, and … has previously been reported for a sending-off offence in the same competition in a season, an additional suspension of one match for each previous sending-off offence will be applied.”
With four bookings (discounting his sending offs) O’Dea is also two bookings away from point 2 of the judicial protocol.
It states a player will be banned for one match for the “accumulation of six cautionable offences in the same competition.”
Outwith the league, O’Dea served another suspension in the League Cup. He missed the 2-1 derby win at Dens after racking up two bookings in previous matches.
With stiff competition in the Dundee backline, the skipper will have to walk a tightrope if he wants to cement his place for the rest of the season.