Neil McCann insists Steven Caulker was only sent home early from Dundee’s pre-season camp so he could get an injury checked out.
Reports this week claimed the former England defender had been banished from the summer trip to Portugal following a breach of club discipline.
But McCann says the centre-back flew back from the Algarve so he could have a scan on an ankle knock picked up during a bounce game with Portimonense last Sunday.
“I don’t read papers but I heard about these headlines and I’m just telling you why he came home,” said the Dens Park boss.
“Steven had a wee bit of discomfort in his ankle after our game on Sunday so the next day we decided there was no point in him staying to play in the game on Tuesday, so we took the chance to send him back and get it checked out.
“I’m pleased to say there is nothing sinister going on at all and he’s good to go.”
And McCann says the 26-year-old could now feature on Saturday as Dundee kick-off their Betfred Cup campaign away to Stirling.
“I can’t and won’t take any risks with players at this stage of the season,” said McCann, who will be without Darren O’Dea (groin) but will be able to call on Sofien Moussa after the frontman recovered from an eye injury sustained during their pre-season break.
“It’s our first game and I don’t want any lasting damage. If he feels good then I will take a decision on whether he starts against Stirling.”
McCann has so far added six new faces to his squad but French defender Louis Nganioni will not be the next to arrive after his trial stint was called short.
However, former West Brom striker Adil Nabi could yet win a deal with the Taysiders after he was invited to join McCann’s squad back in Scotland.
The Dees boss said: “Louis joined us over in Portugal but he has now gone back to Paris. He did OK but he just wasn’t what I was looking for.
“Adil will stay with us. I saw enough in him that I liked so we’ll give him a bit of extra time to have another look at him and see how it develops.”