Dundee’s striker worries have been eased by the condition of returning Alex Jakubiak says manager James McPake.
The Dark Blues face Highland League champions Brora Rangers in their opening fixture to the 2021/22 season on Tuesday.
However, they will be without their play-off hero Danny Mullen after he suffered an ankle injury in a friendly draw with West Ham on Friday.
The extent of the problem isn’t yet known but McPake is hopeful he’ll be able to call on the man who started both legs in the play-off final sooner than first feared.
The manager said: “We’re still waiting on the result of the scan but it has settled down.
“We’re pleased with that.
“Fingers crossed the scan is favourable and we can get him back as quick as possible. He deserves a bit of luck with the way he finished last season.
“It’s looking OK but he’ll be out for the Brora match.”
Fellow frontman Jason Cummings, meanwhile, is set to return to the matchday squad after suffering from Covid-19.
That saw him miss 10 days of pre-season but he returned to training last week. He wasn’t risked in friendlies with the Hammers and Leyton Orient, however McPake says he’ll be back for Brora.
“Jason will be back in the squad and is fit,” the Dens gaffer said.
“With Covid it takes time to get right and he’s missed 10 days of the hard work.
“He’s behind in minutes on the pitch but on the flipside Alex Jakubiak is in good shape.”
Jakubiak missed almost the entirety of his debut season at Dens Park last year after a succession of injuries limited him to just five appearances.
He has, though, returned to full fitness in pre-season, looked sharp and scored his first Dundee goal against Orient.
Another striker at the club is former Celtic man Cillian Sheridan.
The Irish international remains on trial at the club after leaving Wisla Plock last season.
Dundee are keen to see the frontman in action but trialists can’t be used in the Premier Sports Cup.
Also on the shopping list for McPake is a goalkeeper to challenge No 1 Adam Legzdins.
Both Jack Hamilton and Calum Ferrie departed the club at the end of last season and the Dens boss is keen to bring in another experienced goalie.
Youngster Harry Sharp will provide backup against Brora but the club are keen to see him move out on loan once more. He spent some of last season at Edinburgh City.
That has seen Shaun MacDonald play as a trialist against West Ham before Danny Rogers and Ian Lawlor trained with the club this week.
“Both have done really well,” said McPake.
“Shaun MacDonald has gone back down south and has a few offers I think.
“He did well and came up when we needed some help in that area.
“These two are a bit more experienced so we’re having a look at them.”
Meanwhile, McPake has warned his players not to take Highland League side Brora Rangers lightly.
The two sides met in the Dundee’s opening fixture last term with the Dark Blues winning 2-0.
Brora, though, laster knocked Hearts out of the Scottish Cup and McPake’s men were themselves seconds from being knocked out by Lowland League side Bonnyrigg Rose.
“We need to get through the group, it’s a serious competition for the club,” he added.
— SPFL (@spfl) October 12, 2020
“This will be a tough game, it was last year against Brora. And we reminded the players of the Bonnyrigg Rose game as well.
“Brora also put Hearts out of the Scottish Cup not long ago.
“They are more than capable. They did well at Hibs last season as well.
“We’ll approach it in the right manner and will give Brora all the respect they are due.
“It’ll also be good to see Josh Meekings again if he’s playing, he’ll be a good signing for them.”