St Mirren defender Richard Tait will be out for at least a couple of months following a groin operation.
The 33-year-old has been sidelined since coming off in the 3-0 defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road on October 29 and eventually went under the knife.
Boss Stephen Robinson, however, believes the prognosis on his recovery could have been more unfavourable.
Ahead of the cinch Premiership game against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday, the first game back after the mid-season break, the Northern Irishman said: “Richard Tait has had an operation.
“He is going to be at least a couple of months but probably a bit less than we originally thought.
“We thought he would be the end of the season but the surgeon spoke positively about it.
“Without rushing him, it will be good to have him back in terms of squad depth but other than that everybody is fit and ready to go.
“It has been a long break. We have been here for three solid weeks training on the ice and in the rain so it will be nice to get back into action.
“It is a chance to continue where we left off. I thought we put in brilliant performances against St Johnstone and Rangers (draws).
“The boys have come back raring to go, trained really hard and have the bit between their teeth.
“We have worked really hard and we are looking forward to the game, to rectify the away form which we feel could be better.”