Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes confirmed every player bar Mikey Devlin will be fit to face Rangers – if there are no more injuries in pre-season.
McInnes admits to facing a trade-off between pushing his squad in preparation for the Premiership opener against Gers on Saturday August 1 and the risk of picking up injuries.
Centre-back Devlin suffered a pulled hamstring in the 2-2 bounce game with Ross County at the weekend.
The Scotland international defender is set to undergo a scan to confirm the extent of the damage, but it is feared he could be out until September.
In recent weeks, Lewis Ferguson (thigh), Niall McGinn (calf), Sam Cosgrove (back), Dylan McGeouch (calf) and Shay Logan (calf) have picked up injuries.
After three months of lockdown, McInnes expected strains and pains in his squad.
The fine balance is pushing them to be ready for Rangers while keeping injuries to a minimum.
McInnes said: “There is nobody in the building, apart from one player (Devlin), who won’t make the start of the season.
“We know that we need to play games to get to where we need to get to, but sometimes with that come injuries.
“It is a fine balance at the minute. We want to make sure we have as many players available as possible for that first game of the season, but still do the work we need to do.”
The need to keep injuries to a minimum is further intensified by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the squad size.
McInnes is set to go into the new campaign with a smaller squad than normal.
Aberdeen face a £10 million loss due to the Covid-19 outbreak and are in no position to make new signings.
The only new addition was winger Jonny Hayes, who signed a two-year deal having left Celtic this summer.
However, the deal could only be made because Republic of Ireland international Hayes offered to defer his wages for a year.
The Dons returned to pre-season training on June 15 after the players spent almost three months working alone due to lockdown restrictions.
McInnes said: “We normally don’t see the players for three or four weeks (before pre-season), but this is different. Every manager is facing the same challenges. Players are probably picking up more little injuries than normal.
“There is an understanding that the players effectively hadn’t been striking balls or training as they would normally do for a long period of time.
“So we prepared ourselves for players missing a few days here and there with little strains.
“Fitness-wise what we are asking the players to do they are delivering.
“The trade-off is there are one or two little knocks and strains, but nothing that is going to stop them from participating in that first game.”
Winger Matty Kennedy recently returned to training following minor ankle surgery and striker Curtis Main is set to return this week following a knee op.
Kennedy came on for the final 20 minutes against County, the Reds’ first match since a 3-1 defeat of Hibs on March 7.
The manager said: “It was good for the players to get back on to the pitch and play competitive football.
“Shay didn’t play because he has a little calf complaint. There was no McGeouch, Bryson and Ferguson. We only played Kennedy, Cosgrove and McGinn for the last 20 minutes to give them an introduction to 11 v 11 football, because they have been a bit behind.
“I was pleased, especially for 70 minutes when we had good control of the game and we created some good chances.
“We lost a couple of late goals. They were two very good strikes from Ross County.
“It is never about results in pre-season, it is about building fitness and confidence.
“We will have another practice match on Saturday, then we go Tuesday and then Saturday the following week ahead of the Rangers game.”