Right-back Muirhead has missed recent weeks with a small cartilage problem and scans this week revealed the defender required surgery on the injury.
That’ll set the ex-Partick Thistle man out for several weeks, and he could return around the same time as Peter Grant makes his long-awaited retrun from cruciate ligament surgery.
Grant has been missing since early this year having been struck down by the injury against Livingston in February – and then playing through it against Rangers at Ibrox.
He is on course to return to the pitch towards the end of this month and into the first-team sometime next month.
“ Peter Grant will add to the competition for places, but remember we’ve had two clean sheets in the league in the past two games so for all our disappointing start we’re not too badly off. Two out of five isn’t too bad actually.”
Grant has been wrapped in cotton-wool by the Falkirk management team and has been acting as a ‘floater’ in training – a player who isn’t allowed to be challenged during training – as he recovers from his major injury. Fulham were instrumental in helping the defender get through the early stages of his recovery and the plan has been adhered to on his return north, though Grant’s fitness has progressed ahead of plan.
McDonaugh added: “ Peter is close to contact work and he’s on time in the current schedule but ahead of his long-term schedule.
“He’ll probably be back around the same time as Aaron. We’ll get him through the next couple of weeks and then add some contact work for a few weeks and a couple of development league games and see where he is with that. If there’s no set-backs then he will be back involved with the first-team hopefully.
“ Aaron Muirhead will be out a few weeks, he needs a wee tidy on his cartilage. He won’t be out long term but he’ll be missing a few weeks.
The team took a few weeks to settle down, he was in and out the team but it could be a blessing in disguise in the long run if he comes back better. He’ll be disappointed though especially after the three wins in a row.”
Another player nursing an injury for the Bairns is back-up goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet.
“He hasn’t trained since he picked up his dead-leg against Elgin. That’s longer than expected but it’s just a dead leg and nothing too serious.”
Falkirk meet Dundee United on Saturday in the late kick-off, televised by BBC Alba. Get your match stats here.