Dundee manager James McPake admits he feels for Jamie Ness as the Dee midfielder continues to struggle with injury.
Ness suffered a flare up of an existing calf problem in Saturday’s 3-0 Scottish Cup defeat to Motherwell and now finds himself back on the treatment table.
It’s just the latest setback for the former Rangers and Stoke man after he broke down at Cove Rangers in the season-opening Betfred Cup group campaign.
And Dark Blues boss James, who knows a thing or two about injuries himself, admits to feeling empathy towards Ness.
“It’s the same injury unfortunately. It’s a really sad one for him again. He’s having a tough, tough time,” he said.
“It’s the bottom of the calf and the ankle area. He had some complaints around that on Saturday.
“We’ve done everything we can. He’ll be back in the hands of the physio and take it from there, we’re really trying.
“He’d been feeling good and played in a bounce game on Tuesday (against St Mirren) and trained fine before and after that.
“You thought he’d have a wee bit of luck but, unfortunately, it’s a tough time for him.
“He can’t judge when it’s coming. He had done a lot of work building up to his rehab and then 30 minutes into a game he breaks down again.
“It’s frustrating for me as a manager but we’re dealing with human beings and it’s Jamie who has to deal with it. I’ve got other players I can put on.
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“I’ve been that player – the player who can never get a run of games.
“Nobody wants to be injured. You’re always trying to get yourself right. It’s frustrating and it can take over you a little bit, I really feel for him. Mentally it’s very tough.
“We know he’s a good player and how much he would bring to our team but we need him right. He’s not been right since that Cove game probably.”
As for MK Dons’ reported interest in Graham Dorrans, James continues to insist no news is good news.
He added: “I’ve been waiting on an answer with one player for two weeks. That could be the case with Graham and MK Dons but I hope it’s not.
“Like we’re in dialogue with players and agents, they are the same.
“Until the window shuts I can’t relax on that.”