Ross County are back in training following their Covid-19 outbreak but manager Malky Mackay fears the knock-on effects could further hit their Premier Sports Cup campaign.
County had to forfeit their opening game at Forfar last weekend after a number of positive cases among players and staff forced a 10-day shutdown after two weeks of pre-season.
Players reported for duty on Thursday morning but their first task was to undergo a series of tests to determine whether they could train or not.
Players will continue to be monitored closely in the coming days and weeks to ensure there are no lingering effects of the virus but Mackay’s first game in charge now comes on Sunday against cinch Premiership rivals Dundee in Dingwall.
The Staggies have ground to make up after being consigned to a 3-0 defeat in their opener under competition rules but they will not take risks with players who are not ready.
Mackay said: “Fitness-wise it won’t be too much of an issue. They were in really good shape when they came back and the first two weeks was hard going for them.
“It’s more so really the recovery from the effects of Covid that we have got to be careful about.
“That’s the main thing our medical and sports science department are looking at. We have got to be very careful with that and that’s the thing we will be looking at over the next few days.
“We have got to be careful in how we bleed the players back in in terms of training and basically seeing how they are every day. This virus reacts to everyone differently.
“We will see how they are and react accordingly so who knows what the next week holds?”