Jim McInally has conceded that he has no natural replacement for left winger David Cox who has been ruled out for up to three months with injury.
The 24-year-old former Alloa wide man was stretchered off before half time in Peterhead’s 1-1 League 2 draw with Berwick Rangers.
Taken to hospital in Aberdeen before the final whistle had even been blown, an x-ray showed Cox has a broken metatarsal in his right foot.
He picked up the injury when he landed awkwardly from an aerial challenge.
A physio was rushed on to treat Cox who held his head in his hands in pain.
He was carried off and received treatment on the side lines for another five minutes before being stretchered off and taken for a scan.
After the match McInally said: “He’s out for six weeks to three months and because he plays football they might need to put a pin in it to make it stronger for when he comes back.
“The orthopedic guy will have to have a look at that.
“Hopefully they’ll put a pin in it because it’s less likely to happen again if they do.”
The earliest game the Balmoor crowd may get to see Cox again is the visit of Albion Rovers on December 14 at the beginning of a hectic festive period.
The Blue Toon play four matches in the space of 21 days in a run which could have a major impact on the promotion race.
Given the hectic December schedule, McInally may look to reintroduce Cox slowly although he could feasibly be out until February.
McInally said: “Maybe he’ll be back for February when we’re getting to the knitty gritty and he can give us all a real lift at that point in the season.
“There’s no point dwelling on the negative of it - we’ve got to try and look at the positive .
“He’s not out for the season, he will be back.
“I don’t have a natural replacement - Coxy was versatile enough that he could play through the middle as well.
“That determination he’s got is hard to replace. We just need to get on with it.”
Utility man Ryan McCann deputised for Cox when he left the park and summer signing Dean Richardson can fill in on the wing.
McInally however spent Sunday making enquiries about possible emergency replacements.
He said: “I will look to bring a player or two in this week but it’s not easy because it’s not a good time.
“I think the introduction of the seven subs on the bench rule has made it hard - even guys who have been out of squads have been reintroduced because of the amount of subs.
“There aren’t a lot of excess players going about.”