Published: 11/09/2012 11:43 - Updated: 11/09/2012 11:48

Sideline fears for injured King

Simon King
Simon King

SIMON King remains an injury doubt for Caley Thistle ahead of Saturday’s home encounter against Aberdeen.

The central defender has not yet managed to overcome an ankle knock he sustained for Inverness during the 2-0 victory over Arbroath in the second round of the Scottish Communities League Cup at the end of August.

King was named in the starting line-up for Caley Thistle’s visit to Motherwell at the start of the month, but hurt his ankle in the warm-up and did not play a part in the subsequent 4-1 loss at Fir Park.

Having struck up a good partnership with fellow summer arrival Gary Warren at the heart of the Inverness defence, King (29) has impressed and his absence will be felt if he cannot feature at the weekend, according to manager Terry Butcher.

“Simon’s ankle is still giving us cause for concern,” said the Caley Thistle boss, who has Jason Oswell fit again following an Achilles problem. “We will just need to wait until later in the week to see how he is.

“His ankle isn’t quite right, so we’ve no option but to give it a bit of time.

“He twisted it against Arbroath and the same thing happened again during the warm-up against Motherwell.

“It would be a blow not to have Simon available, but it does give someone else an opportunity.”

That opportunity could come to Josh Meekings. The 20-year-old, who featured last season predominantly at right full back, played alongside Warren at Motherwell and could get the chance to do so again against Aberdeen should King not be able to prove his fitness.

“Josh has come on as a substitute a few times this season already and done well for us,” said Butcher.

“He’s really come on as a player since last year, even though he is still very young.

“I feel he’s got all the attributes to be a top defender and I’ve been very pleased with him whether he’s played at right back or centre half.

“Josh is a lot stronger now compared to last season. He worked hard over the summer and is probably fitter than he’s ever been before.

“I’m sure he will continue to learn from the likes of Gary Warren, Simon King, Graeme Shinnie and David Raven.”

Caley Thistle’s players returned to training yesterday to begin preparations for the visit of Aberdeen with the exception of Graeme Shinnie and Aaron Doran, who will return later in the week following international duty with Scotland and the Republic of Ireland under-21s respectively.

Conor Pepper and on-loan Arsenal forward Philip Roberts also represented the Irish under-19s as they drew 1-1 against Latvia in a friendly on Saturday.

Butcher is hopeful none of this quartet will have picked up any knocks as he looks to mastermind Caley Thistle’s first Scottish Premier League victory of the season this weekend.

To do so, however, Inverness will have to overcome a Dons side that has gone four games undefeated since narrowly losing to Celtic on the opening day of the campaign.

“Aberdeen are a strong and solid team,” said Butcher. “They are a club who will have aspirations of being in the top six at the end of the season.

“I believe we will go into Saturday’s game as underdogs, but we’re looking to get our first victory of the season and I hope we can do that against Aberdeen.

“In our last three matches, we’ve played three out of the top five SPL teams from last season, so it’s been a difficult run of matches.

“However, I don’t think it’s a case of us feeling under pressure to get that win because the pressure is always there. You just accept it and get on with it.

“We want to get off the mark. It’s something we’ve talked about and would love to try and do come Saturday.”

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