IAN McCALL admits that it will be a case of all hands on deck when the Jags welcome Cowdenbeath to Firhill this afternoon with the League One club’s injury crisis showing no signs of subsiding.

Captain Ross Docherty is the latest player facing an extended spell on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury, leaving the Partick Thistle boss with just 12 outfield players to choose from for this afternoon’s Scottish Cup second-round tie.

The game could yet called off due to the wintry conditions, as last weekend’s league fixture with Clyde was, with the temperature plummeting to around minus 9 degrees last night and a pitch inspection scheduled to be carried out this morning.

McCall, though, is still preparing for the cup tie to go ahead as planned but admitted that the club’s lengthy injury list has taken its toll on his squad. No other team in Scotland has been as unfortunate, he insists, and the Thistle manager’s frustration with the situation was readily apparent.

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He said: “I was speaking to our chairman, we haven't banged on about our injuries at all and I read about other clubs’ injuries.

“There isn't a club in Scotland who have been battered with injuries like us and in the last week or two, it's got worse. If the game goes ahead or is played on Tuesday, we will have about 12 players to play outfield. But you have to get on with it.

“Over the course of this season we have had about five knee operations and now Ross Docherty is seeing a specialist on Monday about a potentially serious knee injury. It's kind of never ending and with Covid on top of that, things are very hard.

“To lose one goal in seven games – you probably expect to have won five or six matches. In the league, we have won three matches and drawn two. Whoever is fit and available will be in the squad [this afternoon].

“Brian Graham is still struggling. Ryan Williamson is still struggling. I’ve not got the list in front of me but there’s a lot out.”

The frequency of injuries at Firhill this season has been alarming but it is perhaps the recovery times that have been most detrimental to Thistle’s title bid. Bumps and bruises have been virtually unheard of this term; instead, players have more often than not found themselves out for months at a time and requiring specialist treatment or surgery.

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McCall is understandably frustrated by the lengthy timescales for his players to return to match fitness and is at a loss to explain why so many have suffered relatively serious injuries this season, but the 56-year-old is certain of one thing: in all his years of management, he has never seen anything like his side’s current predicament.

“Listen, our issue with it is – when I played and [chief executive] Gerry [Britton] played and [assistant manager] Archie played, you had guys out for a week or two and back in three weeks and stuff. We don’t seem to have anything like that.

“I think the least time somebody has been out is about six weeks. The first one, when we got Declan Glass [whose loan spell was cut short after picking up a ligament injury in a friendly], was for the season and this is the first time I’ve spoken about it.

“I don’t want to bang on because I know what everybody is like about excuses, but I do hear an awful lot of other people talk about managers. In 22 years this is the worst it has ever been – ever – by far. So there you are.”