SAINTS boss Danny Lennon has urged his team to see off Motherwell this weekend and help lift the spirits of devastated defender Darren McGregor.
The Paisley side will travel to Fir Park on Sunday without their likeable centre-half following his injury nightmare last week.
The 27-year-old snapped knee ligaments in his right leg in the 2-1 defeat to Hibs – just 12 months after doing the very same to the joint on his opposite side.
Gaffer Lennon admits he has been left heartbroken for a player he brought with him to the SPL after swapping Cowdenbeath for St Mirren.
But now he hopes to give the stricken star – currently hiding away on a Spain beach as he faces up to a nine-month battle back to fitness – a morale boost by calling him up with new of a Buddies victory against Stuart McCall’s men.
Danny told Express Sports: “Darren is a great character but football can be so fragile. He will now have missed two years out of the game because of the same type of injuries, but we will get him through it.
“We will be using Darren’s injury to motivate the players come Sunday. Should we get the three points we will certainly dedicate them to Darren.
Lennon confirmed that McGregor will have to go under the surgeon’s knife to repair his snapped knee ligaments.
But before that, the manager and his players have vowed to rally round him and help heel his mental scars.
“Darren will have to have surgery on the knee,” said Lennon. “We will need to wait for it to settle down and I think that usually takes three or four weeks for the swelling to drop.
“We had him back before the end of last season but there will be no rush on him this time.
“We are one big family here and when one hurts we all hurt, so first and foremost this time, we need to get him mentally right.
“He’s a very strong character and there’s no doubt he can come back stronger. The players will obviously help him too.
“If there’s any positive, it’s the fact the injury happened on his other leg. If it happens to the same leg, people tend to have doubts about whether you can come back. But that’s not the case and he will be back.”
The St Mirren boss also confirmed that their is room in his budget to bring in another fresh face – but insisted McGregor’s extended absence will not definitely mean he targets another central defender.
“I am actively looking for new faces – not necessarily for a centre-half,” he said.
“If we do bring someone in, perhaps it will be someone who can play one or two roles.
“For the size of squad that I have, I’m more than happy with what I’ve got. We are no worse off than we were last season with the absence of Darren.
“Marc McAusland and Lee Mair enjoyed an absolutely formidable partnership last season so there’s no reason why that can’t be the case this term.
“So as for bringing in a replacement for Darren, I’m not overly concerned.”