Dundee star Lee Ashcroft has been hit with a hammer blow ahead of this afternoon’s clash with Rangers at Ibrox after it was confirmed the Dens Park favourite needs surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his hamstring, ruling him out of action for several months.

Ashcroft was forced off during the 3-0 win Motherwell last weekend having been ever-present for James McPake’s side in the Premiership this season up until then, but he was missing in midweek as the Dens Park men beat St Johnstone 1-0.

Dundee v West Ham United - Pre-Season Friendly

Ashcroft is set to be sidelined until March after he goes under the knife next week (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

The defender won both Players’ Player and Fans’ Player of the Year last season as Dundee won promotion back to the Premiership but will now be out until as late as March next year as a result of his injury.

Ashcroft is due to undergo surgery on Tuesday in London and will be missing as Dundee look to continue climbing up the table after hitting ninth in the league following the win over St Johnstone on Wednesday.

Liam Fontaine came into the starting XI to replace Ashcroft in midweek and it seems likely he’ll retain his place in the side this afternoon when Dundee make the trip to Ibrox to face Rangers.

The Dens Park side could climb as high as sixth if they pull off an unlikely win this afternoon but the loss of Ashcroft will be big blow to their chances of snatching a result against the champions.

With the transfer window set to open next month, McPake may look to make a loan signing to cover while Ashcroft is sidelined and bolster his side’s defensive options as they try avoid being sucked into a relegation battle.

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