STEVIE CRAWFORD has said that Kevin Nisbet is “making progress on a daily basis” but admits a weekend return is doubtful.

The Pars centre forward, the team’s top marksman with 23 goals in all competitions, has missed each of their last three matches after picking up an ankle injury in the recent win over Dundee United.

In his absence, Dunfermline have drawn each of their games played and, of the two goals scored, one has come from the penalty spot, and the other – Euan Murray’s strike at Partick Thistle on Tuesday night – from a corner.

Athletic travel to Dundee sitting three points off fourth-top Ayr United, having played a game more, and a further point adrift of their opponents in the chase for the play-offs.

Ryan Dow, who also went off against United with a hamstring problem, could be closer to a return, however, but centre back Lee Ashcroft was set to be sent for a scan on a knee injury picked up at Arbroath last midweek.

“Kevin’s making good progress but I doubt he’ll be fit for the Dundee game,” Crawford explained.

“Kevin has been scanned and it’s just a case of monitoring him on a daily basis at the minute. He’s working hard in the gym at the moment; there’s bruising coming out on his ankle but he’s getting more strength on it and we’ll see where we’re at with it come the end of the week.

“Ryan Dow’s done fits and starts of training. We’ll have to speak to Ryan and the medical staff to see where we’re at but every day he’s edging closer to being available for selection.”

On the pitch, the Dunfermline head coach watched his charges concede with virtually the last kick to draw at Partick Thistle, in a match that saw Owain Fon Williams save a penalty and Zak Rudden strike their crossbar.

The Pars weren’t happy with what they felt was a foul on their goalkeeper just before Brian Graham equalised, and a potential offside not given against the striker, while Jonathan Afolabi looked to have the chance to run in on goal, only to be penalised for what was deemed to be a foul on Darren Brownlie.

Crawford said: “The bit for me is that Brian Graham’s actually, at one point, watching the ball and then doesn’t know where the man is.

“He’s just made a nuisance of himself and there is contact with the big man. Owain’s come out, punched it clear, and then there is contact, so it is disappointing.

“Afolabi’s through towards the end of the game as well – that’s another one that you’re looking at and saying that decision could have gone either way when he’s through on goal.

“Jonathan felt that he’d got the better, shoulder to shoulder, and was one-on-one with the goalie. We were frustrated at the end but not disappointed with the way the boys managed to get their way back into the game in the second half.

“I can’t be too disappointed that we’ve come away with a point because, in the first half, we were just off it a wee bit.”