Dundee have been dealt an injury blow with Lewis Spence having an operation on his ankle.
The 21-year-old midfielder has impressed with his combative attitude in the middle of the park since signing from Dunfermline but will now struggle to play again before the winter break.
However, he rolled his ankle in training last Wednesday and then missed the 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock at the weekend.
On Wednesday, he was going under the knife to sort the problem and is expected to be out of action for weeks at the very least.
Another Dundee midfielder who has had surgery this season, Scott Allan, is working his way back to full sharpness.
Dens Park gaffer Neil McCann is delighted to have the playmaker return and says his side have missed his “imagination” in attack in recent games.
Neil said: “I’m really pleased for Scott to come back, you could see against Kilmarnock he’s still not quite firing on all cylinders.
“It’s difficult to come into a match when it’s settled and you’re trying to get up to speed having been out for a long time.
“U/20s football is nowhere near the right tempo that you need for going into first-team level.
“I’m just delighted Scott is back because he’s a big player for us who can come up with a bit of imagination and a bit of guile in the final third.
“I felt his introduction on Saturday might give us that. It didn’t but he’s going to be a big player for us in the coming months.”
Neil also had praise for goalkeeper Elliott Parish after the Englishman kept a clean sheet against Killie, including a save late on to deny Lee Erwin and seal a valuable point for his side.
“Towards the end when you go down to 10 men, you’re fearing the worst,” said Neil.
“Elliott, though, made a super save and it’s the first clean sheet of the season — we’re really pleased.
“That shows a keeper’s ability, having not been called upon to make saves, the concentration levels have to be absolutely on the money.
“I’m disappointed and a wee bit annoyed how open we were to let Kilmarnock create that but, of course, when someone breaks your line, you’re hoping that the last line of defence can pull you out and it was a super stop.”