Dunfermline’s fading hopes of avoiding relegation have been dealt a blow after defender Kevin Rutkiewicz was ruled out for the remainder of the season when his injury jinx struck again.
The 31-year-old looked to have put his problems behind him when he battled back from six months out with a hip injury to make eight appearances earlier this year.
However, an ankle injury sustained against Celtic seven weeks ago returned the frustrated former St Johnstone and Aberdeen player to the sidelines.
Another corner appeared to have been turned when he made a second comeback in the 3-0 defeat by Dundee United on 31 March, only for his ankle injury to flare up in training on Thursday last week.
Scans have since shown that Rutkiewicz has damaged ligaments again and new Pars manager Jim Jefferies said: “It looks like Kevin is out for the rest of the season. He went over on his ankle in training last week with no-one near him. In terms of injuries, he’s had a terrible time and I know Jim McIntyre felt he was a big miss when he was here.
“I was looking for him to bolster the back line and we got him back against Dundee United, but we don’t expect him back again, which is a real blow.”