Peter Houston says both he and summer signing Nathan Austin are “incredibley frustrated” at the forward’s on-going injury woes.
The ex-East Fife frontman has barely been seen by Bairns fans since signing due to a first a loan back at East Fife, then a recurring hamstring problem.
The Bairns boss said: “We had him scanned and he had a 18cm strain. He’s trained two days but then he feels like his hamstring is going to go again. We’re desparate to get him a chance because he’s been totally stop start since he’s been with us.
“We need to get him rescanned and seeing a specialist because a lot of people will be asking ‘Where is Nathan Austin?’.
“That’s what I’ve instructed from the physio. It’s a cost, but that doesn’t matter. We have to get to the bottom of the situation with a guy we’re paying wages to. We’ve bought a player who could do well in this division, and it’s frustarting the life out of me.”
Houston wishes he could pitch Austin in to challenge his strikers who have struggled to find a regular scoring pattern this season.
“At the under-20s games he comes off after 25 minutes. He starts, on fire, maybe scores a goal then it goes and the hand goes up and he has to come off because it feels like he’s ready to tear his hamstring again.
“It’s very frustrating but we can’t do anything. You can’t force people if they’re not fit to play but we need to get tothe bottom of it.”
Houston does at least have an addition attacking option already in his squad – Kevin O’Hara.
He returned from his loan at East Fife having scored three goals in the first half of the season at Methil.
“O’Hara is not far away,” Houston added. “He played a bounce game on Monday [against Queen of the South] and he did well.
“Kevin’s got a long future here. I really think he could be a good player. Whether he plays Saturday [against Morton] or not is another story.
“He’s maybe a doubt because we have the SFA Youth Cup on the Sunday at Ibrox and Alan Maybury probably won’t give me him! He could feature on the bench.”