Dumbarton’s Danny Handling has been ruled out for the next few months after requiring an operation on a knee injury.

The midfielder has only played in two games for the Sons so far, but was taken off early in last week’s defeat to Dunfermline.

Manager Stevie Aitken also confirmed that Mark Stewart was nearing a return, but won’t rush him back in.

He said: “Unfortunately Danny is going to need an operation.

“He’s had a scan and fair play to the player he wanted to pay for the scan himself, he needs a wee bit of work done on his knee which is frustrating, but it is what it is, we just have to deal with that.”

“The season is 46 weeks long, if we get the operation done quickly we’ll see him back in no time.

“We’ll take our time with Mark, we don’t want to rush him back.

“We’ve got Greg Morrison coming in this week from Ross County so that should give us a bit of extra firepower up front.”