Injured Dundee United pair Peter Pawlett and Osman Sow are moving closer to returns but neither will be involved in Saturday’s Championship opener against Inverness Caley Thistle.
As he recovers from a knee injury, Pawlett hasn’t played since last season, while Sow’s last involvement was in the friendly win at Brechin earlier this month because of calf trouble.
Both, though are making good progress and could be ready for first-team action by the middle of August.
“They are doing a bit of training and they travelled down to Shrewsbury with us because of that,” said Robbie.
“Peter has been back with the first team for a few days now so he is close. Osman has been doing a bit of running and he is progressing as well, though he’s a bit further away.
“Saturday would be a possibility for Peter but I don’t want to rush him too much. We want to make sure he is OK and we have him back for the long term and not a quick fix.”
Even with them still out, United have options up front for the weekend in the shape of Lawrence Shankland, Nicky Clark and youngster Louis Appere. The 20-year-old has impressed the manager over the past few weeks.
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“I’ve been delighted with the big man in pre-season. We played him as a lone striker at Shrewsbury
“Up there on your own can be difficult, especially for a young player, but I thought he caused them a lot of problems.”
Meanwhile, Caley Thistle boss John Robertson has labelled both city clubs favourites for promotion but warned others will be determined they don’t get things all their own way.
“On paper you’d expect the two Dundee teams to be favourites but I’m sure ourselves, Dunfermline, Morton, Queen of the South and Partick Thistle will have a lot to say about that as well,” he said.
“Both Dundee teams, given their backing, support and finance, they’ll be tough to beat. I’m sure Dundee will beef up the ranks because there’s a lot of youngsters.
“I know they’re going to push them (the youngsters) through as well but I’d imagine they’ll bring another three of four in.
“But Partick have spent a lot this year and all the other teams have strengthened. You see Dunfermline have strengthened well, Morton, Queen of the South and Ayr.
“It’s going to be another hugely competitive league and we’re happy with our squad.”