Supporters will know that our squad has already been hit by injuries to several key players.

Here is an update:

Dougie Hill – Having played through injury in the Ramsdens Cup Final (where he was man of the match) and the final critical games of last season, medical opinion was that rest during the close season was all that was required. However pre season training led to a recurrence of lower abdominal pain which has sidelined the popular centre back. Dougie underwent an operation to correct the problem 10 days ago, and he hopes to return to training later this month. An October return to action is predicted.

Craig Barr – We have still to see ‘Mango’ in action in a Rovers shirt. The highly regarded defender/ midfielder had not missed a single game through injury for 5 years before signing for the Rovers in June. However, during pre season training, he began to feel sharp pain in his knee. Scans and X-rays confirmed the need for an arthroscopy operation to clean out the area and on Thursday Craig travelled to Yorkshire to have the necessary procedure carried out by one of the country’s leading specialists. He’s now at home recovering ahead of a lengthy rehabilitation programme and we hope to see our new player in action towards the end of the year.

Kevin Cuthbert – The Cat has been suffering from shoulder pain which caused him to withdraw from the team during warm up ahead of the Cowdenbeath match. We immediately sent him for a scan. Tests then confirmed severely inflamed tendon which has also necessitated immediate surgery. Kevin went under the knife on Friday, and such was the nature of the corrective procedure that his arm will be in a protective sling for up to 4 weeks before he can begin rehab. Therefore, we will also be without the experienced keeper’s services until December.

Christian Nade – The situation with the big striker is more optimistic and it is hoped he will return to action later this month.

Obviously these setbacks have affected early season plans, so it is pleasing that after 5 games we lie in a creditable 3rd place behind only Rangers and Hearts. The next challenge is John McGlynn’s Livingston, and manager Grant Murray and 1st team coach Laurie Ellis took in Livi’s match against Alloa earlier today.

Watch out for further news from Stark’s Park during the coming week.

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