The manager spoke to the media on Thursday and gave an update on a number of players:
“Scott got his scan results yesterday he will be out with a tear as expected. It is looking like he will be out for three to four weeks – maybe be a bit longer than that, maybe be a bit quicker. Scott has been a quick healer in the past.
“It is similar to the injury he picked up last season against Rangers, not quite as bad on first reading of the scan but it is certainly a significant enough injury to keep him out.
“I think any team in Scotland would miss a player of Scott McKenna’s ability, obviously it is a double whammy for him as he misses out international wise as well and I think he was in good form.
“There has been a lot documented about him and his situation over the last while but he has dealt with it and has been very important to us and his level of performance has been very strong.
“We missed him a couple of times last season with a hamstring injury and we have to do without him again this time around.”
“He had a bit of a relapse on Tuesday on the injury, just as he was getting to the final stages of his rehabilitation, which is the worst news possible for him and for us.
“After doing all the rehab and putting so much in, he was due to return to training on Thursday, so with that in mind and with him and McKenna out, we restricted Mikey Devlin’s game time on Tuesday in the reserve game to 45 minutes because we don’t want to put any more at risk.
“I don’t think it is a small setback but he is away to get rescanned this morning and we will find out about it but we feel as though he will probably be out for another few weeks yet.
“It is a real blow for Ash and when you have waited that long to come back from any injury like that, it is a double whammy.”
“I believe that it may be getting closer to being resolved but as we sit here now nothing has been completed yet.
“Both hat-tricks were very good, the Banks O’Dee one you expect him to show that quality, no disrespect to them.
“His hat-trick on Tuesday afternoon (against Ross County) it was three very good goals, he never had a lot of service but he made the most of it and his second goal in particular was a lovely finish with his left foot.
“Bruce has maybe taken a little while to get going since coming back (from the summer break) by his own admission but certainly the last two/three weeks he has been as bright as a button and we rewarded that with him being on the bench at the weekend.
“We left out some senior players and we put him on the bench as a reflection of his hat-trick against Bank O’Dee and I think another hat-trick does himself no harm.
“There are things that he can work on and Bruce knows that but he is a player that we want to keep in the building and Bruce knows that and hopefully he can get into the team at some point.
“I am maybe kicking myself a wee bit that we never put him on the last 10/15 minutes against Kilmarnock but I would expect Bruce to be involved at the weekend.
“We bring people into the squad to put pressure on others but our younger ones coming through from within, it is their job to put that pressure on and Bruce is one of them and I think that he has done well.
“He has always been a very good finisher and he has done very well in the last few weeks again. Bruce improves because he plays against the likes of Considine, McKenna and Devlin’s everyday.
“He has got to work hard to show himself in training but I do think it is important that we have people at the top end of the pitch carrying that attacking threat and we feel Bruce is one of a number of strikers that we feel can have a big part to play for us.”
“What is expected of us is to win the game (on Saturday) and anything over than that will be a disappointment.”
Match preview to follow, plus to watch the manager’s conference in full please click on the red button.